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

Airbnb

A task force charged with coming up with new rules regarding vacation rentals in Paso Robles has wrapped up its work, at least for the time being. On Wednesday, the city’s short-term rental (STR) task force met for the last time before sending its recommendations on to the city’s planning commission.

KCBX News

On this week's Issues & Ideas, we explore the proposed Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary, via a recent documentary that focuses on different stakeholders in Central Coast waters. We hear from California Secretary of State Alex Padilla about Census 2020 and what an accurate count means for the region. We get to know some Central Coast chefs who are doing things just a little differently to bring food to the table. And we learn about an upcoming chorale concert series taking place in San Luis Obispo and some scientific effects of music on singers.

Carmen Allison

There are many more visitors than usual these days at the Carrizo Plain National Monument in eastern San Luis Obispo County. On Saturday afternoon, March 30, a steady stream of cars headed down the area's bumpy, lumpy dirt roads to check out the visitor's center and drive the length of Soda Lake, the "largest remaining natural alkali wetland in southern California," according to the Bureau of Land Management.

But there's room for everyone on this unique expanse of windswept plain, currently blooming in vivid, riotous yellow, orange and blue wildflowers. If you've had the chance to visit the Carrizo Plain during this super bloom season and would like to share a picture or two, please email to news@kcbx.org and we'll add it to this slideshow.

Greta Mart/KCBX

Police temporarily closed and searched one of the two brick-and-mortar retail cannabis shops operating in San Luis Obispo County on Thursday, but not at the command of local law enforcement.

Courtesy of SLO Wine Country

Anne Steinhauer recently took the helm of the San Luis Obispo Wine Association. We speak with her about member wineries and marketing wines made in the Edna Valley and Arroyo Grande to other parts of the country, and the world.

On this week's episode of Issues & Ideas, major newspapers and public radio stations across California—including KCBX—are collaborating on a statewide project to look at personnel records from local enforcement agencies. 

Courtesy of the Hourglass Project

Diving into the subject of economic vitality and growth on the Central Coast, KCBX News speaks with Melissa James, CEO of a new collaboration among local private industry leaders. The Hourglass Project aims to encourage the mindful shaping of new industry and fostering future jobs across the region, particularly in light of the planned 2025 closure of a major economic engine in the area, PG&E's Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant.

Greta Mart/KCBX

On New Year's Day, 2019, a new state law went into effect. SB 1421 insists that California police departments let the public see formerly-confidential misconduct records. Since then, more than 35 California newspapers and public radio stations—including KCBX—have joined forces to request those records. 

MARELBU/wikimedia commons

This week we’re airing two recent studio interviews, offering different perspectives on downtown San Luis Obispo. Lately, there's a been a lot of civic conversation about the best path forward to nurture a vibrant, thriving downtown. 

Issues & Ideas: SLO growth, economic vitality and wildflowers

Mar 20, 2019

On this week's Issues & Ideas, we hear about the Hourglass Project, a new economic vitality venture aimed at bringing future jobs and industries to San Luis Obispo County. We'll also hear two sides of the ongoing conversation about downtown San Luis Obispo, and what should be done to encourage a wide-range of businesses while nurturing the city's unique characteristics. UCSB neuroscientist Kenneth Kosik talks about studying a genetic mutation that causes early-onset Alzheimer's disease, and our colleagues at KCRW explore what's behind California's current wildflower super bloom, and where you can see carpets of spring flowers. 

VCFD

Southern California Edison power lines touching each other in strong winds definitely started the Thomas Fire, according to a report released Wednesday by the Ventura County Fire Department.

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. 

PG&E video still

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.

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