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

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. 

City of Paso Robles

This week in Paso Robles, city staff are unveiling potential designs of a new district on Railroad Street. That’s a street near the downtown square, and Paso Robles is looking to spruce it up with maybe a mural, some lighting and railroad-themed features.

Courtesy of the Chumash Life YouTube channel

The same architect who helped design the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington DC is working on a new cultural center and museum coming to the Santa Ynez Valley in Santa Barbara County.

Courtesy of Central Coast Grown

Alongside Highway 101 in San Luis Obispo, between the Los Osos Valley Road and Madonna Road exits, there’s an expanse of agricultural land. Until last year, the land produced crops like brussel sprouts and broccoli. Someday soon, 580 homes and apartments will be built on a portion of the acreage as part of the approved San Luis Ranch development.

Harold Litwiler

Time for another installment of Central Coast Curious. That’s our new reporting projecting where listeners ask questions and KCBX News investigates and reports back to you.

Every spring, a nearly-neon yellow flower blooms over the Central Coast’s hillsides: mustard. But as listener Leslie Thompson points out in her Central Coast Curious question, mustard hasn’t always been here — it may be pretty, but it’s an invasive plant. Thompson asks, “how did mustard come to “invade” the Central Coast?

Greta Mart/KCBX

About a dozen United States postal workers and their supporters gathered in San Luis Obispo Monday, joining their colleagues across the country on a day of rallies, chanting, “U.S. Mail, not for sale.”

Greta Mart/KCBX

It’s been just about nine months since the Montecito Debris Flow killed 23 people and destroyed homes, bridges and roadways. Now that the immediate pain of the disaster has abated a bit, but before too much time passes that people start forgetting, a group of researchers at UC Santa Barbara are studying the disaster in a coordinated effort.

Mixing it up at Cuesta College's clay stomp

Sep 19, 2018
Ritchie Bermudez

It's harvest time on the Central Coast, and grapes aren't the only thing being crushed.

San Luis Obispo County

A new state law mandates that San Luis Obispo County and a coalition of local entities receive over $85 million dollars to help mitigate the closing of the Diablo Canyon Power Plant. Governor Jerry Brown has signed a bill co-sponsored by Central Coast state lawmakers Bill Monning and Jordan Cunningham.

Flickr/Nathan Rupert

Electric scooter rentals may be coming to San Luis Obispo, but not Thursday, as scooter company Bird had planned. City officials said they’ve been in contact with Bird, which deploys e-scooters and runs an app that allows electric vehicle sharing. It appears the company had planned a “rogue launch” of its e-scooters without city approval.

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