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

The National Transportation Safety Board has released a preliminary report on its investigation into the September 2 disaster aboard the ‘Conception,’ the commercial dive boat that caught fire and sank while anchored in the Channel Islands. Of the 39 people aboard, 34 died in the blaze.

Courtesy of the Oceano CSD

Next year there’s going to be a big change in voting dates in California. Instead of the primary election being held in June, it’s moving up to March 3, 2020. On that ballot, Oceano voters will decide a special tax measure to fund fire and emergency medical services.

Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire

Caltrans closed northbound lanes of Highway 101 due to a fast-moving brush fire that broke out around 3 p.m. on Monday.

Issues & Ideas: Refections on the 'Conception,' surviving a mass shooting, and solutions journalism

Sep 9, 2019

We're back! After a month-long hiatus, KCBX's weekly news magazine returns. 

Statoil

Recently there’s been behind-the-scenes movement in the effort to bring offshore wind energy development to the Central Coast.

Guadalupe reconvenes a parks and rec commission

Aug 22, 2019
Wikimedia Commons/Eric Polk

The city of Guadalupe, in northern Santa Barbara County, is bringing back its recreation and parks commission. The commission will allow the city to pursue more state and federal grants to help build, renovate and maintain parks there, and work to resume the city’s overall recreation program.

Guadalupe’s mayor, Ariston Julian, said after the 2008 economic recession began, the city struggled to support a parks and rec commission.

KCBX Two-Way: Air quality on the Nipomo Mesa

Aug 21, 2019
David Middlecamp/San Luis Obispo Tribune

Earlier this week, we heard from veteran NPR journalists Renee Montagne and Kelly McEvers, talking about the craft of journalism and a specific approach called solutions journalism, defined by some as rigorous reporting on effective responses to social problems. Next, we speak with a staff reporter from the San Luis Obispo Tribune about another approach, called engagement journalism, and a current project focused on air quality on the Nipomo Mesa, in south San Luis Obispo County.

We’re going to go behind the scenes of the news you hear on KCBX, and talk a bit about the craft of journalism.  In anticipation of the August 24th KCBX event at Cuesta College with NPR's Renee Montagne and Kelly McEvers, KCBX news director Greta Mart speaks with them about a specific approach in the profession called solutions journalism. According to the nonprofit Solutions Journalism Network, solutions journalism is rigorous reporting on responses to social problems. The SJN also says it involves “reporting on where and how people are doing better against a problem — removing excuses and setting a bar for what citizens should expect from institutions or governments.”  

Courtesy of the Paso Daily News

If you see police and emergency responders converging around a Paso Robles school site on Wednesday, it’s just a drill. The Paso Robles Department of Emergency Services is holding an active shooter training exercise at an empty school campus on 17th Street.

SLO County

Residents in the San Luis Obispo County town of Santa Margarita are facing a rise in their water bills, after the county board of supervisors held a hearing Tuesday to hear protests to the proposed increase. Since the county received just 23 written protests out of 500 water customers, the increase went through.

SLO County Homeless Census & Survey/ASR

According to the county’s department of social services, the number of homeless people in San Luis Obispo County rose by nearly 32 percent in 2019, compared to a count two years ago. The latest estimated numbers were released Thursday.

A new local public safety app went live this week, and it’s meant to save the lives of heart attack victims. At the same time, it alerts users to emergencies in San Luis Obispo County.

Issues & Ideas: A solar sail, command change and tech trends for the over-50 crowd

Jul 17, 2019
Photos courtesy The Planetary Society, Fort Hunter Liggett and the AARP

On this week's Issues & Ideas: A unique spacecraft is now orbiting the earth and soon a team at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo will command it to unfurl a super-thin Mylar sail. The craft will then glide through space, propelled only by sunlight. We talk to the mission's project manager to learn more. Also, there was a recent change of command ceremony at Army Reserve Garrison Fort Hunter Liggett in Monterey County. We hear from both the outgoing and incoming commanders.

Greta Mart/KCBX

An oil company's plan to build a new oil well and pipeline in the Carrizo Plain National Monument has been blocked, after the California Bureau of Land Management (BLM) overruled a 2018 decision by the BLM’s Bakersfield field office.

KCBX 2-way: Hate crimes in San Luis Obispo

Jul 12, 2019
Tyler Pratt/KCBX News

At the end of June, a San Luis Obispo resident was arrested for threatening to shoot minorities in his neighborhood. As word of the arrest made its way through the community and across social media, local law enforcement officials say misinformation was also spread about the case. So this week, the San Luis Obispo Police Department held a community forum on hate crimes in the city. Listen above for a conversation between KCBX’s Greta Mart and KCBX’s Tyler Pratt, who was at the meeting. Transcript is below.

SLO County Ag Commissioner

The latest crop statistics for San Luis Obispo County are out, and in 2018, San Luis Obispo’s agriculture industry exceeded one billion dollars in overall value.

Greta Mart/KCBX

Off-highway vehicle riding across the sand dunes and beach at Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area on the Central Coast will continue as is, at least for now. The California Coastal Commission has voted to continue the conversation for another year, with eight of the ten commissioners in favor of sending a letter to California State Parks, asking that several issues within the park be addressed by that agency between now and summer of 2020.

Josh Spradling / The Planetary Society

Update July 9, 2019

The deployment of Lightsail 2’s solar sails has been delayed until at least Sunday, July 21. Bruce Betts, Lightsail 2 mission program manager, said the spacecraft is stable and healthy; however, some unexpected behavior in altitude control system sensors has the mission team slowing down. “We don’t want to rush it,” Betts told KCBX News on Tuesday afternoon. “We may have to upload fixes and we want to do it in a methodical way.” KCBX News will continue to check in with the team at Cal Poly for updates.

ORIGINAL STORY PUBLISHED JULY 3, 2019

A unique spacecraft is now orbiting the earth, and soon a team at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo will command it to unfurl super-thin stretches of Mylar, serving as sails. The craft will then glide along, propelled only by sunlight.

Courtesy of the Friends of Oceano Dunes

Off-highway vehicle riding across the sand dunes and beach at Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area on the Central Coast may soon be curtailed. The California Coastal Commission is slated to take a hard look at park operations in July.

Flickr/Tracey Adams

The economic hit faced by San Luis Obispo County when Diablo Canyon Power Plant (DPCC) closes won’t be as bad as previously estimated, according to a new report released Wednesday.

KCBX News

Fracking has been a hot topic on the Central Coast ever since the Trump administration released an environmental review about the possibility of expanding hydraulic fracturing on federal lands in Central California. We hear reactions from some in the neighboring community of Kern County to the plan. And Stanford geophysicist Mark Zoback explains some fracking basics, including what is and isn’t known about the technique's impact on the environment. We also talk about emergency preparedness in San Luis Obispo County. KCBX's Greta Mart sits down with county planner Jillian Ferguson and emergency services coordinator Scott Milner about how they are planning for possible future man-made and natural disasters. Also, if you’re a Democratic presidential primary voter, how will you decide who gets your support? We chat with four undecided California Democrats. And we previously reported that Santa Barbara’s landfill is filling up. Soon, in July, trash and recycling curbside services will go up. We’ll find out how the city plans to use the fees to in an effort help improve how the city manages recycling and trash.

Greta Mart/KCBX

There's a new type of recycling facility in San Luis Obispo County that's turning food and green waste into power and compost. It's called an anaerobic digester, and it was built by global engineering firm Hitachi Zozen Inova. The company is touting it as the first of its kind in the United States for the specific way it recycles waste. 

Greta Mart/KCBX

The US Environmental Protection Agency has approved an aquifer exemption for the Arroyo Grande oil field near San Luis Obispo. This enables Sentinel Peak Resources, the current owner of the oil field also known as Price Canyon, to move forward with a planned expansion of wells for both enhanced oil recovery and dispoal of wastewater, or "produced water."

Greta Mart/KCBX

Work will resume this week on closing the El Campo Road and three other median crossings on Highway 101 in San Luis Obispo County. The project will permanently block four openings connecting the northbound and southbound lanes; motorists will no longer be able to make left-hand turns on to and off the highway via those medians.

On this week’s Issues & Ideas, we learn more about the large, immersive new light and art installation called Sensorio Field of Light coming to Paso Robles. 

On this week’s Issues and Ideas, we hear about a local mission to preserve the story of winemaking in our region. The Wine History Project of San Luis Obispo County is a museum without walls; we speak with Heather Muran and Libbie Agran about the effort to bring the county's wine history to life through unique exhibits. Also, learn more about the sleep disorder narcolepsy from local patient-activist Ashley Allen.

The use of a dangerous pesticide will soon be phased out in California. The California Environmental Protection Agency announced Wednesday the Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) will start the process to cancel the registration of the pesticide chlorpyrifos.

Santa Barbara police engaged in a standoff Tuesday with a suspect barricaded in an apartment building off South Turnpike Road in Santa Barbara. The area was evacuated and Highway 101 closed in both directions between Turnpike Road and Patterson Avenue. San Marcos High School, located across the street from the apartment building, was placed in lockdown for the afternoon, but just after 3 p.m., the students were sent home.

Courtesy of the Friends of Oceano Dunes

Police have arrested a man suspected of shooting and injuring six people late Saturday night at Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area in San Luis Obispo County. There were no fatalities in the shooting incident.

On this episode of Issues & Ideas, we revisit how the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II affected the Central Coast, in a conversation with local historian Jim Gregory. We also speak to the director of a documentary looking at the long history of negligence and institutional failings around what's called the deadliest aircraft in the U.S. military.

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