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

Courtesy of the SBC Agricultural Commissioner's office

Strawberries and wine grapes remain the top two agricultural crops in both San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties. And crops and cattle are still among the top economic drivers in Santa Barbara County, but agricultural revenue dropped there last year, according to the county's new annual crop report out Friday.

On this week’s Issues & Ideas, one of the Central Coast’s most prominent music festivals starts soon. We chat with Festival Mozaic music director Scott Yoo and new executive director Lloyd Tanner about what to expect this year. 

Courtesy of Paula Zima

Should San Luis Obispo have a formal policy regarding monuments? That was the discussion among city officials this week after a group proposed placing a statue of a former U.S. president in a city park. The mayor and some in the community disagreed with the idea. San Luis Obispo officials ultimately decided the city’s policy is not to allow any monuments to living or dead individuals to be erected.

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.

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.

Matt Klepfer/SLO Queer Crowd

This week is San Luis Obispo Pride, a celebration of the Central Coast LGBTQ+ community. Over the weekend there will be parties, drag performances and Pride in the Plaza, a free festival for the public with live entertainment. Some will also be using the opportunity to raise awareness about issues that continue to impact all communities—including the queer community—such as deportation, racism and gentrification.

UPDATED July 12, 2019: Police Chief Deanna Cantrell's stolen firearm has been found, San Luis Obispo City Manager Derek Johnson said in a statement Thursday evening. Johnson said Skeeter Carlos Mangan, 30, admitted to, "finding the firearm in the restroom at El Pollo Loco, putting it in his pocket, and returning to his home to Los Osos." According to the statement, Mangan's brother-in-law reported him to authorities. Cantrell told KCBX News Friday morning no arrest had been made, but the department is preparing to file charges against Mangan.

Courtesy of Credit Debit PRO

The wife of San Luis Obispo County’s top election official has admitted to embezzling tens of thousands of dollars from a high school fundraising club. A criminal complaint filed by the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney's Office alleges Sherry Gong stole more than $32,000 from an Atascadero booster organization.

Issues & Ideas: Cannabis odor, berries and Harmony glass

Jul 1, 2019
KCBX News

On this week's Issues and Ideas, there has been a lot of discussion about cannabis grows on the Central Coast, especially when it comes to the plants' odor. In a conversation produced by KCRW's "The 805: Stories from the Central Coast" podcast, Santa Barbara County Supervisor Das Williams dives into the issue and allegations he has been too chummy with cannabis lobbyists.

Wikimedia Commons

The Lompoc Valley Cannabis Association (LVCA) is gearing up to host its first “CannaBrew,”  a social mixer for those involved in the area’s cannabis industry. Organizers hope Wednesday’s networking event will serve as another step in turning Lompoc into a cannabis destination.

Thomas Wilmer/KCBX News

Summer has arrived on the Central Coast, and that means birthing time for sea lions and large gatherings of sea lions and other marine mammals. But something in San Luis Obispo County ocean waters may be affecting the behavior of area marine mamals. A recent video went viral of a sea lion biting a Paso Robles teenager at a south San Luis Obispo County beach. It's a rare event that could be the result of toxic algal blooms. 

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.

Tyler Pratt/KCBX News

Residents of town of Paradise, destroyed in last year’s Camp Fire, are preparing to make some decisions on plans to rebuild. To assist in the process, students from California Polytechnic State University—Cal Poly—in San Luis Obispo have been working on envisioning a re-design of the town, part of a design studio course for third-year architecture students. This week they traveled to Northern California to unveil their finished, contemporary proposals and ideas for a new downtown Paradise. The students were excited to show off their hard work, but some in the community weren’t ready for such a forward-thinking approach to rebuilding a town with a rustic past.

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. 

City of Arroyo Grande Facebook Page

Arroyo Grande city officials kicked off discussions this week on how to generate more revenue, agreeing an estimated $3.5 million dollars is needed to fix the city's aging infrastructure. But the city's councilmembers don't agree on how to accomplish that. 

Courtesy of Diego Rivera/Mustang News

San Luis Obispo's Cal Poly and the other California State universities don't provide hormone replacement therapy for students, but University of California schools do. That's the subject of a recent article in Mustang News, Cal Poly's media outlet. The student reporter, Michael Barros, is also a KCBX News intern and recently joined KCBX's Tyler Pratt in the studio. 

Courtesy of San Luis Obispo County

San Luis Obispo County’s legal department has released more information about the recent resignation of the county's public works director. The documents include several written complaints about a sexually-inappropriate management style of a department head who held the job for over a year.

Thirty years ago, the only Rhône grape most Americans knew about was Syrah. Then a French family and an American family together purchased some land west of Paso Robles, in the Adelaida wine district. They set out to import Rhône grape varieties to the Central Coast, with the aim to grow them using organic, dry farming and other sustainable methods. 

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. 

Courtesy of the San Luis Obispo Parks & Recreation Department

San Luis Obispo County officials heard an update this week on plans for El Chorro Regional Park. The park’s golf course has been partially closed for the past year, but it may soon become a golfing destination again—for people of all ages—with miniature golf and go karts.

Nick Franco, head of the county parks department, spoke to the county’s board of supervisors Tuesday.

Tyler Pratt/KCBX News

San Luis Obispo city officials gave the second annual “State of the City” address Thursday. Mayor Heidi Harmon and City Manager Derek Johnson touted plenty of accomplishments in 2018, but also shared some financial uncertainty about the year ahead because the city is facing a liability of $150 million.

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.

Courtesy Cal Poly Campus Dining

Cal Poly's Academic Senate, the governing body for the university's faculty, voted Tuesday overwhelmingly in favor of removing a Chick-fil-A restaurant outlet from the university's San Luis Obispo campus. The resolution was proposed in light of recent news the fast food chain's charity arm, the Chick-fil-A Foundation, continues to give money to anti-LGBTQ organizations. The vote by the Academic Senate comes after another university and two cities moved to block Chick-fil-A outlets from opening in recent weeks due to the company's perceived opposition to the LGBTQ community. 

CDC

Following a measles quarantine of hundreds of students at Los Angeles universities, Central Coast health officials are on high alert, they say. Since January, over 700 cases of measles have been reported in 22 states.

Courtesy of the Hind Foundation

A north San Luis Obispo County government office may close or possibly reduce services. The county’s clerk-recorder says time constraints and looming budget cuts are prompting reconsideration about operations at its small Atascadero office. But for north county residents who frequent the office, this may mean more expense and longer drives to San Luis Obispo to file documents.

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.

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.

Tyler Pratt/KCBX News

$5.5 million dollars was awarded to San Luis Obispo County homeless agencies and organizations this week. It came from a pool of hundreds of millions in state grants offered to help house the homeless and create services for homeless youth in counties across California. At Tuesday’s board of supervisors meeting, many in attendance were excited about the generous new funding opportunities, but many others weren’t happy with where the money may be spent in south San Luis Obispo County.

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. 

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