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

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.

SLO County asks Caltrans to close deadly Highway 101 median openings

Apr 24, 2019
Greta Mart/KCBX

This week San Luis Obispo County officials voted to ask the state transportation agency to close middle sections of Highway 101 south of Arroyo Grande to prevent further collisions and deaths.

Courtesy Visit SLOCal, Shumash Sanctuary, and Michael Pollan

On this week's episode of Issues and Ideas, we talk with author and journalist Michael Pollan about his latest book on psychedelic drugs, and the resurgence of research into how these substances can be used to treat addiction, depression and help us understand consciousness. We'll also hear part two of a recent documentary exploring the proposed Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary, with interviews of various stakeholders in the waters off the Central Coast. We'll have more on a California State Parks plan to make significant changes to the Oso Flaco Natural Area and Oceano Dunes SVRA in San Luis Obispo County. And we get a history lesson on San Luis Obispo County's missions and libraries. 

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.

Pages