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

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.

Greta Mart/KCBX

Morro Bay water and sewer residential customers will be paying up to $41 dollars more a month for service, starting next summer. On Tuesday night, the Morro Bay city council voted to raise the rates, after counting the results of a community vote. Those opposed to the rate increase were short by an estimated 636 protest votes.

Central Coast Writers Conference

There's a conference taking place at the end of the month in San Luis Obispo designed for those studying the art of writing. Whether you are a writer in search of a publisher or have a great idea for a movie, the 34th annual Central Coast Writers Conference is taking place September 27-29 at Cuesta College. KCBX's Greta Mart met with conference director Teri Bayus to learn more about the three-day event.

Cuesta College

The new school year is already underway at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo County. The community college went through a leadership change this summer when the school's former president, Dr. Gil Stork, retired after half a century with the school. After a nationwide search, Dr. Jill Stearns became Cuesta College’s seventh superintendent and president in July. Dr. Stearns recently sat down with KCBX's Greta Mart and Tyler Pratt to discuss her background and her vision for the school's future.

Greta Mart/KCBX

Some Central Coast residents and environmental groups are alarmed over a current federal study, saying it could open up iconic local places like Morro Rock and Montana de Oro State Park to hydraulic fracking.

Southern Poverty Law Center

The KCBX Central Coast Curious project provides you the opportunity to ask the KCBX News team questions about the Central Coast. We posted a Central Coast Curious voting round this summer that included some listener questions related to nationwide issues. The winning question from the voting round was: “Are there any active, known and 'out' members of white nationalist or violent racist organizations in San Luis Obispo County?”

Greta Mart/KCBX

In February, San Luis Obispo put out a call for artists, looking for local talent to submit ideas for painting 26 utility boxes around the city. The city’s park and recreation department received over 200 submissions, and in the end, 19 artists were selected. This week, those artists started their painting projects.

CityofSalinas.org/data

This week, the city of Salinas joined other cities across the U.S. that have created open data portals. Such portals are web tools that let anyone have a closer look at data that have been collected by different city agencies. Cities like Salinas provide data in the interest of being more transparent with their residents, but the practice could also help local governments function a little better.

Jeremy P. Jacobs/E&E News

Where does the Central Coast get its water, our most fundamental of needs? Some comes in the form of rain filling up local reservoirs; some from the State Water Project, a long system of pipes and canals that carry melted snow from the Sierra Nevada mountains to the central and southern part of the state. And a significant amount comes from underground, pumped up via wells.

Until just four years ago, groundwater was totally unregulated in California. But extended droughts made it clear that Californians needed to figure how to manage the underground water supply.

Greta Mart/KCBX

The Central Coast stretch of California’s famous Highway One is once again an open road. KCBX’s Greta Mart was among the first drivers on Wednesday to cruise a brand new section of Highway One; it was built on top of the 2017 landslide that sent a mountain side crashing into the sea.

Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire

Firefighters have gotten a handle on a wildfire that whipped up late Friday night in the hills above Goleta in Santa Barbara County, and CalFire reports crews held the Holiday Fire at 100 acres. As of Monday, the blaze is 90 percent contained.  

UPDATE Friday, JUNE 22 6 P.M.:  San Luis Obispo County certified its election results Friday. Lynn Compton successfully defended her district 4 seat on the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors against challenger Jimmy Paulding by just 60 votes.

Compton's victory will maintain the conservative majority on the board.

June 19 is Juneteenth, also known as Juneteenth Independence Day or Freedom Day. It's a holiday that commemorates the June 19, 1865 announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas and signified the emancipation of slaves throughout the United States. It came over two years after President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation. 

Greta Mart/KCBX

With less than a week until the June 5 primary election, candidates for local races are busy making their final pitches to voters. In San Luis Obispo County, two of the county board of supervisors are up for reelection and being challenged for their jobs. 

Sandra Foyt/Flickr

San Luis Obispo County’s Oceano Dunes is a complex of coastal sand dunes with a 5.5-mile stretch of drivable beach, the only place in California where it’s legal to drive off-highway vehicles along the water's edge. In an effort to control air pollution in the area, there will soon be about 100 fewer acres on which to go four-wheeling at Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area.

In November of 2016, Monterey County voters passed Measure Z. That's a citizen's initiative to ban hydraulic fracturing and limit new oil drilling within the county's borders. Seven other California counties have similar bans. 

Now residents in San Luis Obispo County are hoping to qualify their own anti-fracking initiative for the November's ballot. KCBX's Greta Mart invited two leaders from Protect SLO County to the studio to learn more about the planned measure and what it hopes to accomplish.

Greta Mart/KCBX

San Luis Obispo County’s Carrizo Plain National Monument survived last year’s effort by the Trump Administration to shrink or revoke national monuments across the country. But recently, the U.S. Department of the Interior approved construction of a new oil well and a pipeline in the Carrizo Plain National Monument. 

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