Tyler Pratt

Reporter/Host/Producer

Tyler Pratt is a reporter, host and producer at KCBX. You can hear him on weekdays filing news reports and hosting afternoon programming. Tyler hails from the deserts of West Texas but likes to call the the swamps of Louisiana home. He fell in love with public radio over a decade ago while studying improv comedy at the Second City in Los Angeles. He spent so much time in his car listening to KCRW while driving between auditions and various jobs that he eventually became inspired to switch careers from acting to radio journalism.

Since then he’s worked as a reporter, host and producer at Austin public radio stations, KUT and KUTX, and New York Public radio station, WNYC. He has also worked with a variety of news organizations and media outlets like NPR, the CBC, WBUR, Mother Jones, the Southern Foodways Alliance. In 2016, Tyler earned his master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University in New York.

When he’s not out reporting, working on long-form radio projects or listening to podcasts, you will probably find Tyler outdoors exploring the gorgeous Central Coast of California. If it’s football season, he’ll definitely be in front of a TV somewhere cheering for the New Orleans Saints. He’s also a not-so-secret Bravo TV fan. And if anyone has suggestions on new wines to try, he’ll take your recommendations.

Ways to Connect

Greta Mart/KCBX

KCBX News' Central Coast Curious is an ongoing series for which we invite listeners to ask questions and the newsroom reports back with answers. Since we launched the series last year, we've received several questions asking, "when will the Avila Pier reopen?" The pier is currently now open about a third of the way, but it's uncertain when the entire pier will be accessible to visitors. 

Greta Mart/KCBX

KCBX News' Central Coast Curious is an ongoing series for which we invite listeners to ask questions and the newsroom reports back with answers. Since we launched the series last year, we've received several questions asking, "when will the Bob Jones Trail extension be built?"

David Middlecamp/San Luis Obispo Tribune

For more than a century, mecury mines were active across San Luis Obispo County. The roughly 150 mines not only drove the county's economy, they helped establish Cambria as a city in the 19th century. They also played a role in America’s history—from the California Gold Rush to World War II. All of the county's mines have long since shuttered, but are still hiding in plain sight.

Paso Robles Police Department

In January, a new statewide police transparency law—SB 1421—went into effect, mandating police records be made public in cases of sustained findings against officers who commit sexual assault, use excessive force or engage in dishonesty-related conduct. However, the agencies that investigated criminal allegations against a former Paso Robles police officer have not turned over any documents relating to the case, as required under the new law.

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 US Air Force

A first-of-its-kind missile test of national defense systems launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base [VAFB] on Monday. The United States Department of Defense is heralding it as a success, striking a target sent into the atmosphere from the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

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. 

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. 

Courtesy of Five Cities Fire Authority

At the end of February, when Arroyo Grande city staff floated the idea of leaving the Five Cities Fire Authority (FCFA) in San Luis Obispo County, it threatened the future of fire services for the city, as well as Oceano and Grover Beach. This week, the Arroyo Grande city council decided the fire department shouldn’t disband yet. And now all three communities served by the FCFA—Arroyo Grande, Oceano and Grover Beach—have six months to come up with funding plan all agree on.

Flickr/Håkan Dahlström

As part of a plan to increase affordable housing, this week San Luis Obispo County officials took some first steps: passing higher development fees on some new homes and streamlining the environmental permitting process in an effort to get homes built faster. Not everyone was happy about it, but did agree the county needs more housing stock. 

Courtesy of the National Coalition for Women and Girls in Education (NCWGE)

Title IX is a federal law that is part of the Education Amendments Act of 1972. Its goal is to prohibit discrimination at educational institutions that receive federal funding. One area Title IX presents itself on college campuses is in addressing allegations of sexual misconduct. A recent California court ruling has public universities scrambing to rewrite rules for how these investigations are conducted, but the coming changes have some administrators and students concerned. To learn more, KCBX's Tyler Pratt sat down with San Luis Obispo Tribune reporter Monica Vaughan, who's been covering this issue. 

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.

Cal Poly

Diversity and inclusion have been ongoing issues at San Luis Obispo's California Polytechnic State University, long before a series of racist incidents in 2018 highlighted the need for more racial awareness on the campus. In January, at Cal Poly’s second annual Martin Luther King Jr. dinner—featuring a keynote dialogue with American philosopher, political activist and social critic Cornel West—Camille O'Bryant was named the inaugural recipient of the campus' Martin Luther King Legacy Award for her effors in advocating for underrepresented students.  O'Bryant has taught at Cal Poly for over two decades and is an associate dean in the College of Science and Mathematics. 

Conner Frost/Mustang News

"A 30-year-old San Luis Obispo city law is causing Cal Poly students to live off lease and it may be illegal." That's the headline of a recent article by Cal Poly student media outlet Mustang News. Student reporter Ashley Ladin stopped by the KCBX studios to discuss her story about the law, how students navigate it and what is—or isn’t being done—to change it.

Randol White/KCBX News

San Luis Obispo County officials chose this week not to switch to a new voting system for the 2020 election, created by the state legislature aiming to modernize voting in California. The county’s election official presented options, and community members shared their support, but the price tag may have swayed supervisors from changing, for now.

Five Cities Fire Authority

Arroyo Grande city officials and community members met for over four hours this week to consider if Arroyo Grande should stay in the Five Cities Fire Authority (FCFA), which isn’t actually comprised of five cities, it’s three—including Oceano and Grover Beach. The meeting came after city staff recommended Arroyo Grande leave the fire department, essentially dissolving it. Now San Luis Obispo County officials may be stepping in to help save it.

David Middlecamp/San Luis Obispo Tribune

Hannah Allen, a senior at San Luis Obispo's Cal Poly, developed bulimia as a student-athlete during her freshman year. Her story was recently chronicled in the San Luis Obispo Tribune, and she recently sat down in the KCBX studio—along with with Tribune reporter Monica Vaughan and dietitian Libby Parker—to discuss bringing attention to Eating Disorder Awareness week, and the illnesses that may affect up to 10 percent of college students.

Tyler Pratt/KCBX News

A group of architecture students from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo has been working to reimagine Paradise, California. The students are creating plans to rebuild the city mostly destroyed by November’s Camp Fire, with input from residents. The students presented their concepts to the Paradise community at Chico State on February 22.

KCBX News

On this week's Issues and Ideas, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla stops by to discuss big changes coming to California elections in 2020. Also, the CEO of San Luis Obispo health and wellness tech company MindBody breaks his silence following a multibillion-dollar acquisition. We talk with Rick Stollmeyer about future plans for MindBody, if the company will stay in San Luis Obispo and what the acquisition means for the Central Coast tech industry. And we get to know more about eating disorders on college campuses through the eyes of a survivor, a dietary expert and a reporter who has been covering one student's journey.

MindBody

The billion dollar deal that puts San Luis Obispo's MindBody in the hands of a San Francisco  investment company is finalized. The health and wellness tech company filed its final documents with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commision on February 15, and is now under the ownership of Vista Equity Partners.

MindBody CEO Rick Stollmeyer—who founded the company 19 years ago—has been tight-lipped on the deal until it went though. But Friday morning, Stollmeyer stopped into the KCBX studios to talk about the merger.

The city of Paso Robles is going back to the drawing board when it comes to regulating short-term rentals. The city council passed an urgency ordinance earlier in February to address growing noise and parking complaints, but this week the council had to repeal that ordinance due to a conflict of interest.

Tyler Pratt/KCBX News

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla was in San Luis Obispo this week to crown Cal Poly the winner of the inaugural California University and College Ballot Bowl. That's a new competition from the Secretary of State's office and various nonprofits aiming to encourage voting among California's students. Of the schools that competed, Cal Poly students and administrators registered the largest number of students to vote in the 2018 election: 3,178.

Flickr user Duanephoto99

What will California's climate feel like in 60 years? For many urban areas, possibly just like much warmer and drier areas of Mexico. That’s according to a new interactive map based on global climate data released this week, which features several Central Coast cities.

KCBX News

On this week's Issues & Ideas, we talk with retired Nuclear Regulatory Commission judge Alex Karlin, who is calling for independent panel to monitor the Diablo Canyon decommissioning. We find out more about the financial crisis and recent loss of leadership in Paso Robles schools, and talk about the 32nd annual "Share The Love Foundation Fashion Show." And we get to know San Luis Obispo police chief Deanna Cantrell and her poetry. Those stories and more on this week's episode of Issues & Ideas.

(left) courtesy of Karla Hernandez/(right) Tyler Pratt

Teenagers from across San Luis Obispo County will gather February 8 to celebrate their love of poetry. The high school students have been memorizing and reciting poems in their classrooms with the aim of performing them in front of their peers. It’s part of the nationwide Poetry Out Loud competition.

KCBX News

On this week's Issues & Ideas, we meet a Cal Poly aerospace engineering professor who has designed aircraft that hold nine world speed records. He's part of a team traveling the world for the 2019 Red Bull Air Race Championship. We speak to the newest member of the Grover Beach City Council, appointed to the city's governing body during the first city council meeting she ever attended. January 28 marked the 50th anniversary of the Santa Barbara Oil Spill, and we have a report from commemorative event. Later, we talk with a San Luis Obispo woman who launched a pedicab business, and says a fleet of the human-powered vehicles could help solve some of San Luis Obispo's traffic and parking issues. And we'll get to know the UCSB professor who recently won the National Book Award for his biography of Alain Locke, the famous "Dean" of the Harlem Renaissance.

Tyler Pratt/KCBX News

Many have lamented the disappearance of the arts from public school curriculums. Over the past few decades, there’s been an emphasis on STEM—science, technology, engineering and math. But one local institution encourages turning STEM to STEAM by including the arts.

Tyler Pratt/KCBX News

Students and members of local activists groups gathered outside Cal Poly’s Winter Career Fair Thursday in San Luis Obispo. They were protesting the campus presence of U.S. defense contractors—like Raytheon—who recruit at the fair. The demonstrators shouted, sang, and held signs that read “Peace Over Profit" and "Divest From War."

But at previous career fairs, a much smaller group of students went inside to protest the same companies. They sat on the ground and sang songs. This handful of students was later investigated for disrupting university activities. The investigation was later dropped, and no one got in trouble. But it raised questions about what is and is not free speech at Cal Poly.

More than fifteen thousand gallons of sewage spilled into San Luis Obispo creeks and streets this week. County public health officials say the two spills—one via a manhole cover on Broad Street downtown and another from a mainline into Acacia creek—were stopped and cleaned up, but advise the public to avoid Old Garden and Acacia creeks over the next three days.  

San Luis Obispo County

San Luis Obispo County has officially joined state proceedings related to the closure of the Diablo Canyon Power Plant. The state's last nuclear power plant, located on the county's coast, is set to shutter in 2025. On Thursday, the county filed to intervene in the application of PG&E—the plant's owner—in a case currently before the California Public Utilities Commission [CPUC]. To find out what that means, KCBX News spoke with Rita Neal, San Luis Obispo County Counsel.

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