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

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.

KCBX News

On this week’s Issues & Ideas, we continue our exploration into housing issues on the Central Coast, speaking to Anne Wyatt, head of a San Luis Obispo nonprofit—HomeShare SLO—that matches people looking to homeshare in a way aimed to be safer and more vetted than a Craigslist ad. We also talk to Wyatt about the growing excitement around tiny homes, and what is coming for San Luis Obispo, now that city officials have passed initial regulations opening up options for tiny homes. Later in the program, we'll find out what a community panel recommends be done with Diablo Canyon and the surrounding land and coastline when the nuclear power plant shuts down. These stories and more, plus Tom Wilmer goes pickling!

Randol White/KCBX

The Diablo Canyon Decommissioning Engagement Panel released its recommendations Tuesday for the future reuse of the state’s last nuclear power plant, as well as the property's surrounding lands and coastline. The facility is scheduled to shut down in 2025, and the panel—made up of various community leaders—is tasked with listening to public input and submitting a 'Strategic Vision' to the plant’s owner, PG&E.

On this week's Issues and Ideas: Monday marks the transition from Jerry Brown to Gavin Newsom as California's next governor; we'll hear stories about "Brownisms" and Newsom promises. Tyler Pratt reports on a new California prison integration program has inmates' families worried for their safety. And Greta Mart attends a recent public forum on offshore wind energy and reports on how state and federal officials are taking public comment on locations proposed for offshore wind energy development—two of which are off San Luis Obispo County's coast. 

CDCR

A series of riots took place at a Central Coast prison just before the Christmas holiday. Officials at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) confirmed prison fights broke out at Soledad State Prison, and four inmates were hospitalized. CDCR officials call them minor incidents, but families of inmates say more fights are occurring because of a new state prison program.

Tyler Pratt/KCBX News

When it comes to decorating for the holidays, some families get more into the festivities than others. There’s one San Luis Obispo resident who thinks about Christmas decorations year round, and turns his family’s house into a nightly lights and music show.

Click on the play button to hear KCBX's weekly news magazine, Issues & Ideas. 

A wave of bomb threats was sent out across the United States Thursday to hundreds of school, business and government entities, including several on the Central Coast. The threats have been determined to be part of a large hoax. 

Tyler Pratt/KCBX News

Wednesday marks the second day of the San Luis Obispo County employee strike. Members of SLOCEA, the county’s largest union, didn’t go to their jobs Tuesday—affecting social services, clerical positions and prompting library branch closures. Instead, many showed up to protest at the county board of supervisors meeting.

County of San Luis Obispo/SLOCEA

San Luis Obispo County is preparing for an employee strike. For the first time in its history, SLOCEA—the county’s largest employee union—plans to strike Tuesday, December 11 through Friday, December 14. The county and union have not been able to come to an agreement over current and future wages and benefits. KCBX News recently sat down with San Luis Obispo County’s manager and met with a SLOCEA member to learn more.

Greta Mart/KCBX

San Luis Obispo County is preparing for an imminent employee strike. Members of the SLOCEA union plan to strike Tuesday, and potentially continue through Friday. The county and union have not been able to come to an agreement over current and future wages and benefits, and while the strike is expected to happen, what’s not certain is who will strike and what all will be affected.

Courtesy of Dennis Eamon Young Photo

The county board of supervisors have agreed on a plan to help build affordable homes for the county’s workforce. But while the move is being heralded for bipartisan—and multilateral—agreement, some say the real work is still to come.

wikimedia commons

San Luis Obispo County officials held a public hearing this week about U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) access to people arrested and held at the county jail. The California TRUTH Act, aimed at bringing transparency to local law enforcement participation with ICE, requires a community forum be held once a year.

awareawakealive.org

On December 2, 2008, 18-year-old Carson Starkey was involved in a fraternity ritual at San Luis Obispo's California Polytechnic State University. As part of an iniation hazing, he was compelled to drink large quantities of alcohol. After becoming unresponsive, instead of taking Starkey to the hospital, Sigma Alpha Epsilon members left him to sleep it off on a mattress, out of fear of getting themselves in trouble. Starkey never woke up.

Tyler Pratt/KCBX News

When NASA’s InSight mission to Mars took off from the Central Coast’s Vandenberg Air Force Base six months ago, two little satellites piggybacked along for the ride. They’re called CubeSats, and they’re about the size of briefcases. Cal Poly students in San Luis Obispo had a hand in their departure from earth and the data they are sending back from Mars.

Greta Mart/KCBX

For the first time in county government history, San Luis Obispo County officials are gearing up for a potential employee strike. The county’s largest employee union, the San Luis Obispo County Employees' Association (SLOCEA), wants a higher wage increase than the administration has offered. But that’s not the only issue on the table.

Tyler Pratt/KCBX News

Two weeks after the general election, San Luis Obispo County Clerk-Recorder Tommy Gong says his office is still counting vote-by-mail ballots. He expects to release more numbers later this week, and next. But one thing has halted: those election mailers stuffing mailboxes since summer. How much do campaigns spend on mailers? How many mailers were there? And where do they end up when the election is over?

Courtesy of the City of Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara may be adding some tiny homes to the city's housing stock. In hopes of securing more than $6 million in funding, the Santa Barbara City Council approved a grant application Tuesday that would provide money for 40 tiny houses for the city’s homeless population.

Flickr member davidsonscott15

The Paso Robles Police Department notified the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office Tuesday morning of a threatening social media post made to a Santa Maria school. A 22-year-old Orcutt resident wrote on Facebook that he wanted to “shoot up a school" in the area, although he did not specify which one.

Carol Tangeman/KCBX News

There were hundreds of protests across the nation Thursday in response to President Trump’s recent firing of U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Here on the Central Coast, there were rallies in Santa Barbara, Ojai, Paso Robles, and Cambria. In San Luis Obispo, hundreds gathered on the steps of the courthouse to express their concern for Trump’s placement of former Attorney General's chief of staff, Matt Whitaker, as head of the U.S. Department of Justice. 

Greta Mart/KCBX News

San Luis Obispo County’s legal counsel announced this week the U.S. Department of Justice will conduct an independent investigation into the medical and mental health care of inmates at the county jail. The county says the investigation isn’t focused on a single event, but the news comes less than two days after the wife of a former inmate in the jail filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the county.

Greta Mart/KCBX

As of Wednesday afternoon, it appears unlikely Measure G, aiming to curb future oil extraction and fracking in San Luis Obispo County, will pass.

Tyler Pratt/KCBX News

Depending on where voters are registered, there are a lot of candidates in one category on the November 2018 ballot: judicial. But unlike other offices, measures and propositions in this election, there are no judicial campaigns vying for votes. 

Greta Mart/KCBX

A handful of protesters gathered outside the California Men’s Colony prison in San Luis Obispo Thursday. The wives and loved ones of inmates say they are worried about a new policy change coming to the facility, and prisons statewide. It’s a program that merges two different populations of inmates; effectively ending the country's largest protective custody program.

Among the scores of campaign mailers appearing in San Luis Obispo County voters’ mailboxes during this election season, one claims to be a “progressive voter guide.”

Midterms 2018: San Luis Obispo mayoral race

Oct 29, 2018

In the city of San Luis Obispo, three candidates appear on the ballot for mayor: Heidi Harmon, Keith Gurnee, and Donald Hedrick.

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