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

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

California halts new fracking permits

Nov 21, 2019
Greta Mart/KCBX

California Governor Gavin Newsom's administration has announced the state will issue no new fracking permits for oil companies. 

For Central Coast renters, this holiday season may turn bleak as many receive eviction notices. A new state law aims to protect tenants, particularly from no-fault evictions. But some landlords are now sharply raising rents or sending out required 60-day and 30-day eviction notices now before the law goes into effect on January 1, 2020.

On this week’s Issues & Ideas, a hit true crime podcast in Australia tells the story of a mysterious woman who allegedly defrauded a family and then escaped to the Central Coast.

Courtesy of CCEF

Once a year, the local organization Central Coast Economic Forecast (CCEF) hosts a seminar featuring a presentation by economist Chris Thornberg of Beacon Economics. It’s a glance to the future: what will the Central Coast economy look like in 2020? 

Santa Rosa and Pacifica are the latest California cities to draft local laws aiming to curb the use of natural gas infrastructure in new construction. It’s part of a push to move away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy. San Luis Obispo city officials voted once, in early September, to pass a similar ordinance on what’s called decarbonization. But then attorneys for a utility labor union cried foul.

(Clockwise) Michael Kienitz; Douglas Lochner; Greta Mart

On this week’s Issues & Ideas: Truth in Recruitment is a student advocacy group working to reduce the presence of military recruiters on high school campuses. We hear the group's concerns and what they are doing to expand access to information about post-high school options for teens. We also hear the perspectives of a Santa Maria Joint Unified School District administrator, and the U.S. Army captain in charge of military recruitment on the Central Coast.

On this week’s Issues & Ideas, the city of Morro Bay continues its effort to build a $126 million dollar wastewater treatment facility near the north end of South Bay Blvd. But a group of residents are putting on the brakes with a referendum campaign; the county is currently verifying signatures that could trigger a public vote.

flickr member Andrew Imanaka

The city of Santa Barbara has been added to the list of Central Coast communities facing a power shutoff this weekend. The Santa Barbara police department announced Friday afternoon that the shutoff may take place starting on Sunday afternoon, through Monday.

Daniel Bertucelli/SBC Fire

A fast-moving vegetation fire closed US Highway 101 for a few hours Thursday night northwest of Santa Barbara. Campgrounds in El Capitan Canyon and at the state beach were evacuated. As of 10 a.m. Friday, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office said evacuated campers and residents are being allowed back in the campgrounds to get personal belongings left behind. The state beach campground remains closed. 

Wikimedia Commons

Products made out of polystyrene and expanded polystyrene (EPS)—commonly known as Styrofoam—will soon be prohibited in all of San Luis Obispo County. A years-long effort by many to pass a countywide ordinance aimed at stopping the use of polystyrene ended Wednesday. The ban will go into effect in six months.

As of Wednesday, all of San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Monterey counties remain off the list for current public safety power shutoffs taking place across the state.

CalFire SLO

CalFire SLO crews responded Sunday morning to reports of a boat fire off Avila Beach. An engine overheated and the boat’s fire suppression system turned on, but in the end there was no fire, according to CalFire SLO.

Courtesy of https://bit.ly/2OiYFFd

October 4 is the application deadline for Paso Robles High School students. That’s if they want to take part in an upcoming trip to Santa Cruz Island, one of the Channel Islands. The trip is part of a Paso High program called the Fields Studies Collaborative. The FSC brings students to unique places to conduct real-world research and learn from the environment, and from each other.

San Luis Obispo moves forward on bike-share pilot program

Oct 3, 2019
Courtesy of Wikipedia/Tyree303

San Luis Obispo is one step closer to joining Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz in creating a bike-share program.

Courtesy of the Maldonado CYC Facebook page

The city of Santa Maria has launched a free after-school program for teens interested in learning in music. It’s another offering at the city’s community youth center.

On this week’s episode of Issues & Ideas: we hear from three different San Luis Obispo groups focused on helping those under the age of 40 get more civically engaged. SLOu40, the SLO Scoop and YPNG are all working to provide community engagement for the under-40 set. 

Emily McBride (top) and Greta Mart (bottom)

Friday was a day of demonstrations on the Central Coast, with students walking out of class to join young people around the world in an international climate strike, and local nurses picketing for better working terms in San Luis Obispo and Templeton.

Greta Mart/KCBX

After a 20-year-plus effort, a San Luis Obispo landmark is opening to the public. The Octagon Barn, just south of the city limits, is now a community center. Built in 1906, the unique, eight-sided agricultural building was a key location in the early years of the county’s dairy industry. But by 1997, it was falling down and on its way to demolition.

The landscape of vacation rentals in Paso Robles is changing as the city establishes new rules, after a few years of vocal complaints from some homeowners who find themselves surrounded by short-term rentals (STR).

Kathryn Whitney/California Academy of Sciences

If you’re someone who enjoys museums and aquariums, you may be interested in a new program from San Luis Obispo County public libraries. It offers free and low cost admission to 40 cultural institutions on the Central Coast and in Northern California.

Ventura County Fire Department

The bodies of  34 victims have now been recovered, after a Santa Barbara dive boat caught fire early Labor Day morning near Santa Cruz Island in the Channel Islands. The 75-foot vessel, the 'Conception,' was a commercial diving boat with 39 people aboard. Five crew members survived. The cause of the fire is currently being investigated.  

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