Rachel Showalter

Midday Host/Reporter

Rachel Showalter first joined KCBX as an intern from Cal Poly in 2017. During her time in college, she anchored and reported for Mustang News at Cal Poly's radio station, KCPR. She went on to graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Broadcast Journalism and took her first job as a Producer at KSBY-TV. She returned to the KCBX team as a substitute host in October 2020, and now regularly hosts middays. She also contributes feature reports to KCBX News. Rachel is a lover of storytelling, snacking and the outdoors. On her off days, catch her hammocking on the beach with vegan cheese, kombucha and a good book. 

Rachel Showalter/KCBX

The Central Coast section of Highway 1 is one of the most scenic drives in America. A new mural in south San Luis Obispo County is giving people another reason to stop and take a look around.

Rachel Showalter/KCBX

Over the past year, the city of San Luis Obispo has added neighborhood greenways as a part of a larger road works project.

The idea behind the greenways is to prioritize walking and biking as modes of transportation. But the changes aren’t stopping with the addition of bike lanes and speed humps. The city is now partnering with local artists to beautify the new corridors with painted pavement murals.

We hear from candidates running to represent the Central Coast in state and federal government; including California Assembly incumbent Jordan Cunningham and California’s 20th congressional district Congressman Jimmy Panetta. We also speak to the three mayoral candidates in Santa Maria. This is Media Literacy Week, and we speak with the executive director of a nonprofit organization that hosts a week-long event to highlight media literacy education. The KCBX Arts Beat reports on the local performing arts industry, which is taking a huge hit during the COVID-19 crisis without much direction for an eventual reopening. Finally, pumpkin spice season is here and KCBX contributor Father Ian explores some local holiday treats.

Courtesy of the SLO Symphony

The performing arts industry is taking a huge hit during the COVID-19 crisis, without much direction for an eventual reopening.

For many businesses right now, the income is dried up, employees are taking pay cuts and the future remains uncertain as doors stay shut.

In an attempt to light the way for the industry, local arts administrators are taking action. The Central Coast Coalition of Arts Leaders (CCCOAL) recently reached out to the state and San Luis Obispo County health departments with the goal of prioritizing the industry’s reopening.

Rachel Showalter/KCBX

A comprehensive study of the California State University System, released in January, found eleven percent of students were homeless one or more times in 2017. This percentage was slightly higher among San Luis Obispo’s Cal Poly students, at 12.3 percent. Students end up homeless for a number of reasons; the lack of financial resources usually tops the list. But in this story, we meet two Cal Poly students who are choosing to be homeless to save their money for other uses. 

Abbie Bullen

A small Burmese refugee community known as Pa Koe is nestled in the hills of Northern Thailand. It’s home to about 150 people who live in homes with no electricity, and until recently, no clean water either. A group of Cal Poly students engineered a solution. 

Rachel Showalter

San Luis Obispo County has a significant homeless population, many of whom own pets. A program offered by Cal Poly veterinarian students helps many of these pets receive health care. 

Greta Mart

Besides having to rebuild their homes and community, survivors of the January 9 Montecito debris flows are now wrangling with their insurance companies. 

Emma Weitzner

The Weddell seal lives in Antarctica. It’s the southern-most breeding mammal in the world and can dive to depths of 2,000 feet, staying under the water for up to 90 minutes. A team of five Cal Poly graduate students and professors recently returned from a ten-week research trip in Antarctica, studying Weddell seal pups. 

Rachel Showalter

Over the past two years, Cal Poly State University in San Luis Obispo has been working to develop a comprehensive Zero Waste program. Cal Poly has been acting under state mandates and California State University system policy to improve the consumer waste diversion rate - or the amount of consumer trash that goes to the local landfill.  

Rachel Showalter

Meals That Connect is San Luis Obispo County's senior nutrition program, and serves free lunches to over 500 county residents every day. 

REC Solar

San Luis Obispo's California Polytechnic University is installing a 4.5 megawatt solar farm. The farm is being constructed on 18 acres of agricultural land just northwest of the Cal Poly campus. Upon completion, the farm will generate nearly 25 percent of the university's total energy needs.