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

Paul Towers

Salinas Valley farmworkers and advocacy groups made a trip to Sacramento this week to rally for a ban on a pesticide called chlorpyrifos. 

Greta Mart/KCBX

San Luis Obispo is such a desirable city in which to live, it makes affordability nearly impossible - and building affordable housing will always involve compromises. That was the overarching theme during the most recent public hearing and discussion about the proposed San Luis Ranch development.

While the San Luis Obispo City Council didn’t take an official action on the project at the meeting, a majority of council members indicated they were in favor of the project.

Greta Mart/KCBX

On Saturday - July 1 - in San Luis Obispo, a rally is planned calling for the protection of the Carrizo Plain National Monument. Former Central Coast congresswoman Lois Capps, current congressman Salud Carbajal and several community leaders say they will gather to bring attention to the Trump administration’s current effort to revoke protective status for 27 national monuments around the U.S. 

Greta Mart/KCBX

Morro Bay city staff and officials held a town hall meeting this week to get public feedback on the future of commercial cannabis. Residents who attended expressed their support for cultivating both retail and manufacturing cannabis businesses in the seaside city. 

Gary Griggs

Cemex is a Mexican multinational company that manufactures and distributes building supplies in over 50 countries; key Cemex products are cement and ready-mix concrete. The company operates the Cemex Lapis Sand Plant on a beach about eight miles north of Monterey and despite the state closing all the other sand mines operating along the coast years ago, the Cemex mine is different because of its specific location. The company maintains it has a longtime, vested right to operate there, and that those operations are not the cause of beach erosion in the area. 

Greta Mart/KCBX

In late May the California Public Utility Commission (PUC) approved an “area code overlay,” meaning phone companies will start issuing numbers with a new area code on the Central Coast - and beyond - starting in the summer of 2018. 

Greta Mart/KCBX

The Mud Creek Slide is being called the biggest landslide to hit the Central Coast, at least in recent memory. On May 20, millions of tons of rocks and dirt collapsed over Route 1 when four separate, adjacent slides triggered at the same time, combining into one massive terrain avalanche.

Courtesy of John Madonna Construction

Four different landslides rolled into one buried California's famous coastal highway under millions of tons of earth and rocks last Saturday night at Mud Creek. Located eight miles north of Ragged Point - where Hwy. 1 has been closed to Big Sur-bound traffic for months - the slide brought down enough dirt to extend the current shoreline by 250 feet. State Route 1 now lies under about 35 feet of dirt for a quarter mile. 

Bree Zender

In late April, the Trump administration announced a new executive order that directs the Interior Department to review the designations of certain national monuments, like the Carrizo Plain National Monument in southeastern San Luis Obispo County. 

Bree Zender

Horacio Amezquita has lived at the San Jerardo Cooperative, just southeast of Salinas, since 1979, when he was 18 years old.

He had immigrated to the United States from Mexico about five years earlier. Amezquita, his parents, and his 8 brothers and sisters were excited to move into house that had more than two bedrooms when they moved to San Jerardo. 

Greta Mart/KCBX

A legal settlement this week will make it harder for the Trump administration to open federally-owned public lands to oil and gas development, particularly on the Central Coast.

Greta Mart/KCBX

“One hundred and ten million dollars!” Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong shouted out the instant confetti cannons exploded, yellow and green balloons flooded down from the ceiling and an organist played triumphal chords. That was the big reveal today on the Cal Poly campus in San Luis Obispo - the moment Armstrong announced the amount of the latest and greatest gift to the university from San Luis Obispo County residents William and Linda Frost. 

Greta Mart/KCBX

On Friday, President Trump signed an executive order to expand offshore oil and gas drilling in federal waters and the outer continental shelf. It calls for a review of current five-year plan for oil and gas leases, and directs the secretary of the interior to establish a streamlined permitting process. 

Greta Mart/KCBX

On Earth Day this year, the March for Science took place around the globe. There were 43 marches in cities and towns around California; here on the Central Coast marches were held in Monterey, Cambria, San Luis Obispo, and Santa Barbara.

The March for Science is taking place on Saturday, April 22. In what is now a global event, scientists and those who support science-based evidence will be hitting the streets in mass marches, similar to the Women’s March on January 21. In a mission statement, organizers say the event “champions robustly funded and publicly communicated science as a pillar of human freedom and prosperity.” 

Greta Mart/KCBX

The City of Salinas and Monterey County - along with 50 other cities and counties around the country - are among the official supporters of two lawsuits filed against President Donald Trump and his executive order to withhold federal funding from “sanctuary” jurisdictions. On Friday, attorneys gave oral arguments before a federal judge in the cases City and County of San Francisco v. Trump and County of Santa Clara v. Trump.

http://bit.ly/2oW40GV

A Santa Barbara County grand jury determined a recent fee hike by the Laguna County Sanitation District was justified. The district provides sewer service to about 12,000 residential and business customers in Orcutt and unincorporated areas of Santa Maria.

The grand jury looked into the increase because service charges have increased by 87 percent since 2011. The independent jury came to the conclusion that all was above board after interviewing Santa Barbara County public works staff, reviewing paperwork and reports and visiting the sanitation district’s treatment plant. 

Greta Mart/KCBX

The future of garbage disposal  - and energy production  - was on display Tuesday morning at the San Luis Garbage Company facility on San Luis Obispo’s Old Santa Fe Road. It was the official groundbreaking for a new project called an anaerobic digester plant. 

Greta Mart

In local government this week, Monterey County officials are slated to make decisions related to the new county jail expansion project. The $89 million dollar project is almost ready to go out to bid, but first the board of supervisors has to sign off on a staffing and operations plan for the facility for next 30 years. 

Greta Mart/KCBX

On Central Coast county government agendas this week, the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors will hold a hearing on the Phillips 66 Rail Spur project set to go before the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors on March 13, next Monday. Santa Barbara officials are urging their San Luis Obispo counterparts to reject a Phillips 66 appeal of the 2016 San Luis Obispo Planning Commission decision to deny the project. 

Greta Mart/KCBX

A ceremony Wednesday morning marked the opening of the Central Coast Cyber Forensics Lab, a group project of Cal Poly and the California State University system, along with the county DA’s office and the California Military Department. The lab will serve both as a classroom for future cybersecurity experts and a high-tech evidence collection facility. 

Andrew Robinson

On January 24, 2017, we invited three Central Coast millennials to the KCBX studio to hear their about their experience traveling to Washington DC for the weekend of January 19-22. They went to document the presidential inauguration and the Women's March on Washington. Moreover, the trio - two current Cal Poly students and one recent Cal Poly graduate - went with a mission; to make a short film on the events they witnessed and the people they met along the way.

Greta Mart

An estimated 10,000 women, men and children turned out Saturday to participate in the Women’s March San Luis Obispo. Another estimated 10,000 people attended the Santa Barbara march. Similar events took place around the world and in many U.S. cities; all were sister marches to the Women’s March on Washington, which attracted hundreds of thousands of people to the nation’s capitol one day after the presidential inauguration. 

County officials took an oath of office this week as the latest members of the San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara boards of supervisors.

Three supervisors were sworn in to serve on the San Luis Obispo County Board. John Peschong now represents District 1, filling the seat of retiring member Frank Mecham. Adam Hill again represents District 3, and Debbie Arnold was also sworn in, having been re-elected to District 5 seat in June.

Greta Mart

Before and after the recreational use of cannabis became legal in California with the passage of Proposition 64, officials in several Central Coast cities have passed urgency ordinances to temporarily ban commercial cultivation and distribution of the plant. 

Erin Inglish

On Dec. 8, 2016, KCBX’s Greta Mart welcomed Erin Inglish, a life-long San Luis Obispo County resident, musician and engineer, to the studio. Inglish recently returned from a trip to North Dakota to see for herself the gathering of native and non-native Americans trying to stop an oil pipeline from being built near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.

Greta Mart: So, Erin, tell me about the trip itself, when did you leave?

Aera Energy  and Chevron have filed separate lawsuits against Monterey County, alleging the passage of Measure Z will shut down oil production in the county. 

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