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

Greta Mart/KCBX

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is currently serving a search warrant on San Luis Obispo County. FBI agents arrived early Wednesday morning at the main county building in downtown San Luis Obispo and began searching in government offices under a sealed search warrant.

www.diablocanyonpanel.com

While there are still no confirmed coronavirus cases in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties, the spreading COVID-19 outbreak is now interrupting daily life on the Central Coast.

Michael Barros/KCBX

KCBX News is updating the results in this post as they come in.

The latest unofficial vote tally was released on Monday, March 9 just before 5 p.m. There are still 4,784 ballots to be processed by the San Luis Obispo County Elections division. Clerk-recorder Tommy Gong said it's "to be determined" when the next counting will take place. 

On this episode of Issues & Ideas, we hear from local winemaker Neil Collins, named 2019 “Person of the Year” by the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance. Collins visits the KCBX studio to talk about his background, changes he’s seen in the local industry and a coming new certification for products produced by regenerative operations. 

CDC

The San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department says despite reports, the novel coronavirus has not been confirmed in San Luis Obispo County. A local patient tested for the virus strain quickly recovered, according to health officials, and Thursday night, the department announced the test for COVID-19 came back negative.  

Today is Election Day, when California voters will decide the primary races—not only to select their presidential and congressional favorites, but local and state representatives as well. There are four candidates running for the 17th District seat, representing the Central Coast, in the state Senate. Senator Bill Monning, who has held that seat for several years, is termed out. 

Central Coast conservative activist Kevin P. Rice claimed responsibility for an election-related robocall earlier this week that asserted to be associated with the Klu Klux Klan. The recorded phone call targeted voters in supervisorial District 3 on February 25.

KCBX News and the San Luis Obispo Tribune hosted a candidate forum on February 10 in Paso Robles, between District 1 incumbent John Peschong and challenger Stephanie Shakofsky. About 60 people attended the forum at Cuesta College’s North Campus and listened to the candidates answer questions and comment on three main topics: homelessness, water and cannabis. 

Are the current local campaigns for San Luis Obispo County supervisorial seats more negative and rancorous than ever? Or have we seen this level of mudslinging in local elections in the past? 

ECHO

Months before the topic of homelessness came to dominate speeches by California’s governor, the city of Paso Robles moved forward with building a brand new homeless shelter. Located near the city’s water treatment plant, it will be called the First Step Homeless Services Center, and it will be run by ECHO, or the El Camino Homeless Organization.

City of SLO

A plan to refurbish San Luis Obispo’s downtown Mission Plaza is now several years in the making. But this week marked the first time elected city officials looked at and discussed an official draft design of the first phase of the project. The response was supportive overall, but with a handful of criticisms.

Issues & Ideas: The SLO County supervisor race and food literacy on the Central Coast

Feb 11, 2020

The 2020 California Primary election is underway. In San Luis Obispo County, almost 80 percent of voters do so by mail, and by now, most have received their ballots. Over the next few weeks, KCBX News will be airing interviews with many of the candidates appearing on Central Coast ballots. On this week’s Issues and Ideas, we talk to four candidates running for the San Luis Obispo County board of supervisors.

Flickr/Anita Ritenour

A Central Coast professor is asking surfers to serve as citizen scientists on February 8 and 9, during the final king tide of this season.

King tides are an annual winter occurrence, when the combination of a full moon and Earth’s closer proximity to the sun cause tides that are both higher and lower than the normal tidal range.

In this episode of Issues & Ideas, we discuss affordability and housing issues on the Central Coast. Greta Mart speaks with journalist Kate Cimini of the Salinas Californian newspaper and CalMatters about her reporting on Salinas farmworking families. In another segment, we learn more about San Luis Obispo County’s YIMBY movement. YIMBY means 'Yes In My Backyard,' and the grassroots group advocates for creating more affordable housing stock in established city neighborhoods.

Sightline Institute/Flickr

It will soon be a lot easier for San Luis Obispo County property owners to build ADUs, or accessory dwelling units. What used to be commonly referred to as ‘mother-in-law’ units or ‘granny flats,’ these days they are particularly popular with adult children looking to move back home. Or, the units can provide extra income for homeowners. The San Luis Obispo County board of supervisors, in a unanimous vote, decreased regulations this week for ADUs.

Greta Mart

January 24 is the deadline to submit public comment on a draft long-term plan by California State Parks for Pismo State Beach and Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area (ODSVRA). Part of the plan calls for development of the Oso Flaco Lake Natural Area. State Parks is proposing to pave the area and create a new campground for RVs, cabins and tents, but many Central Coast residents are against it.

On this week’s Issues & Ideas, we get better acquainted with former San Luis Obispo city councilmember Dan Rivoire. He was recently selected to be the new executive director of leadership development for the SLO Chamber of Commerce. He’s tasked with running Leadership SLO, a county-wide program designed to bring participants out of their comfort zones to learn new leadership styles and ways of handling diversity in opinions and people.

Greta Mart/KCBX

A proposed settlement agreement has been reached regarding the decommissioning of the Central Coast’s Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant.

The Santa Barbara County city of Solvang is now offering an amnesty program for residents with unpermitted additions. 

SLO County

A San Luis Obispo County planning commissioner has resigned after prompting controversy with posts to Facebook. South county supervisor Lynn Compton’s office announced Friday afternoon Compton had accepted a resignation letter from Jim Harrison, effective immediately.

californiacensus.org

The U.S. Census Bureau is on a hiring spree, and scrambling to find enough temporary workers in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties to help complete the 2020 Census

namihernando.org/NAMI-FAMILY-TO-FAMILY/

An all-volunteer nonprofit focused on supporting those with mental illness and their families is expanding into Santa Maria. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has chapters in over 1,000 places around the U.S, but until now, the group’s offerings were hard to access for those living in northern Santa Barbara County.

Geocortex Essentials/SLO CO

San Luis Obispo County officials adopted a management plan for a portion of the county’s groundwater Tuesday. It’s a plan required under California’s 2014 Sustainable Groundwater Management Act—or SGMA—a law that, for the first time in California’s history, placed rules on the use of groundwater, which supplies up to two-thirds of the state’s fresh water. The Paso Robles subbasin is one of the state’s most depleted underground water sources, after decades of overuse and mismanagement.

Courtesy of Paso Robles

Update 12/05/19

San Luis Obispo’s attorney says the city now has until the end of January to either start changing the way it elects council members, or decide to fight a legal threat over its current election system.

If any renters in San Luis Obispo recently received an eviction notice, it could possibly be unlawful. City officials have passed an emergency tenant protection ordinance seeking to prevent unjust evictions and unreasonable rent hikes. About 65 percent of San Luis Obispo residents are renters.

The local law took effect immediately after the city council passed it on November 26. According to the city manager, the council found the issue acute enough to only require one hearing to pass the ordinance.

Wikimedia commons

The San Luis Obispo County board of supervisors may soon introduce an ordinance to ban the sale of electronic smoking devices in the unincorporated areas of the county. According to the Dec. 10 board meeting agenda, a public hearing on the issue could be slated for January 14. The issue comes before county officials as a bipartisan group of national lawmakers—including seven from California—sent a letter to President Trump this week urging a ban on all flavored e-cigarettes.

Meanwhile, two Central Coast cities—Morro Bay and Arroyo Grande—have already begun the process of banning the sale of all vaping products in their jurisdictions. But not all city leaders are in favor of complete bans, and some business owners say the move will slash half their business and fortify the black market.

On the latest Issues & Ideas, a San Luis Obispo artist is working to find more employment opportunities for artists in the community. Jami Ray is the founder of Lamplight Arts Collective, a grassroots group of local independent artists working together to bring live art to San Luis Obispo and, hopefully, create paying gigs for Central Coast artists. We recently sat down with Ray to learn more about live art and the collective—which will be showcasing live art at the San Luis Obispo Farmer's Market on Thursday, December 5.

Courtesy of USLT RCD

Have you heard of Resource Conservation Districts—or RCDs? They are organizations focused on helping landowners make the most of their resources, and much of the work of the RCD in Templeton is with vineyards and agriculturists in northern San Luis Obispo County. RCDs serve as a bridge between government agencies like the California Department of Food and Agriculture and farmers and vineyard owners. Here's KCBX's Greta Mart in conversation with Andrew Johnson, program manager at the Upper Salinas/Las Tablas RCD, on the district's latest grant opportunities and projects.

Mike Eliason/SBC Fire

As of Wednesday morning, despite over an inch of rain overnight, firefighters continue to battle a wildfire in the mountains above Santa Barbara. A portion of Highway 154 remains closed, but all evacuation orders have been lifted after the Cave Fire broke out in the Los Padres National Forest, near the top of San Marco Pass Road in Santa Barbara County, on Monday afternoon. 

Flickr/Clint Gardner

In an instance of déjà vu, there’s a new E.coli outbreak in late November linked to romaine lettuce. The outbreak was quickly traced to romaine lettuce grown near Salinas

Pages