Issues and Ideas

Mondays, 1:00PM - 2:00PM

Issues and Ideas is a show that features a wide variety of voices sharing their thoughts and perspectives about local people, issues and events on the Central Coast. You might hear a policy maker discussing new regulation, an artist sharing his creative process, an entrepreneur exploring sustainable business practices, or an author talking about her latest book.

Regular contributors and segments include: Greta Mart with KCBX News, travel correspondent Tom Wilmer's Journeys of Discovery, Father Ian Delinger's Playing With Food, Santa Barbara correspondent Beth Thornton, Brian Reynolds, Marisa Waddell, and others.

Ways to Connect

On this episdoe of Issues & Ideas: We learn more about a STEAM—science, technology, engineering, the arts and math—program for middle school students offered by the Foundation at Hearst Castle. And a nationwide shortage prompts distilleries in San Luis Obispo County to turn production over to hand sanitizer. We hear more about a nonprofit organization called 'School on Wheels' that tutors homeless children in Santa Barbara County. And Father Ian takes us on an educational tour of Central Coast olive groves and olive oil producers. 

Playing With Food: Central Coast olive oil

Mar 30, 2020
Fr. Ian Delinger

Explore the world of Central Coast olive oil with Father Ian on "Playing With Food."

On this week's episode of Issues & Ideas, we hear how the pandemic is affecting the hospitality industry in Monterey County, and operations at the SLO County airport. Cal Poly journalism lecturer Kim Bisheff talks about the current media landscape, and suggests ways we can find news outlets we can trust. We visit Atascadero Lake to witness the installation of a new bioswale project and learn how it will improve water quality. And we hear about the hundreds of 'catch-and-eat' rainbow trout just planted in the lake. 

In this episode of Issues & Ideas: Learn how the San Luis Obispo County Fire Safe Council is helping local residents better prepare for fire.

Also, hear about REACH, which is the new iteration of the Hourglass Project, a year-old "action tank" focused on forming a viable plan to create new jobs and economic development across the Central Coast. 

On this episode of Issues & Ideas, we hear from local winemaker Neil Collins, named 2019 “Person of the Year” by the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance. Collins visits the KCBX studio to talk about his background, changes he’s seen in the local industry and a coming new certification for products produced by regenerative operations. 

Playing with Food: Foraging for seaweed

Feb 24, 2020
Fr. Ian Delinger

On the Central Coast, the ocean is an enormous source of food. We all know about fish and shellfish. But what about seaweed? Harvesting seaweed is super easy, and there is an endless supply. Father Ian Delinger dove right in, and took Playing With Food to new depths.

Mark C. Anderson

Why aren’t there more people of color and women at agriculture conferences? One organization is actively working to change the demographics of both presenters and attendees—and workshop topics—at what's considered the oldest and largest organic farming conference in the West.

Issues & Ideas: The SLO County supervisor race and food literacy on the Central Coast

Feb 11, 2020

The 2020 California Primary election is underway. In San Luis Obispo County, almost 80 percent of voters do so by mail, and by now, most have received their ballots. Over the next few weeks, KCBX News will be airing interviews with many of the candidates appearing on Central Coast ballots. On this week’s Issues and Ideas, we talk to four candidates running for the San Luis Obispo County board of supervisors.

In this episode of Issues & Ideas, we discuss affordability and housing issues on the Central Coast. Greta Mart speaks with journalist Kate Cimini of the Salinas Californian newspaper and CalMatters about her reporting on Salinas farmworking families. In another segment, we learn more about San Luis Obispo County’s YIMBY movement. YIMBY means 'Yes In My Backyard,' and the grassroots group advocates for creating more affordable housing stock in established city neighborhoods.

On this week’s Issues & Ideas, we talk to members of Cal Poly’s Iranian Student Cultural Organization. Following recently-increased tensions between Iran and the United States, the group is hosting a panel for the San Luis Obispo community, featuring experts on the history of conflict between the two countries. 

Playing With Food: Fermenting kombucha

Jan 27, 2020
Fr. Ian Delinger

Fermented stuff is all the rage these days. One fermented product is popping up all over the Central Coast—not just for sale, but in people’s garages—and that’s kombucha. Playing With Food checked in with both a commercial kombucha brewer and a home brewer to get a taste of what is kombucha.

On this week’s Issues & Ideas, we get better acquainted with former San Luis Obispo city councilmember Dan Rivoire. He was recently selected to be the new executive director of leadership development for the SLO Chamber of Commerce. He’s tasked with running Leadership SLO, a county-wide program designed to bring participants out of their comfort zones to learn new leadership styles and ways of handling diversity in opinions and people.

Playing With Food: Holiday Special 2019

Dec 23, 2019
Fr. Ian Delinger

This episode is a 'Playing With Food' holiday extravaganza, with three segments featuring foods along the Central Coast.

The podcasts for the individual segments of the holiday special can be found below and on the 'Playing With Food' page, including the recipes for latkes and Hanukkah donuts.

Playing With Food: A tamale holiday party

Dec 23, 2019
Fr. Ian Delinger

In Mexico and for many Mexican-American families, Christmas means tamale time. This little package of meat and mole nestled in cornmeal and wrapped in a corn husk can be found at many a taqueria here in California.

Playing With Food: The magic of oil at Hanukkah

Dec 23, 2019
Fr. Ian Delinger

Hanukkah is the Jewish Festival of Lights. As with every Jewish holiday, symbolic food is prominently featured in the celebrations. Since the observance recalls the miracle of a one-day’s supply of lamp oil lasting a full eight days, oil takes center stage…in the preparation of the holiday treats.

Playing With Food: A Brussels holiday

Dec 23, 2019
Fr. Ian Delinger

It’s the holiday season, and what goes with the winter holidays better than Brussels sprouts? So many people hate them, yet they adorn many a holiday table across the country. There is an endless supply of the cute, tiny cabbages here on the Central Coast, and in this episode of "Playing With Food," Father Ian tries to help you fall in love with them or love them even more.

On this week’s Issues & Ideas:  We sit down with two Santa Barbara librarians to discuss a new class open to the public called 'Fact or Fiction,' designed to help community members find accurate health information online.  And later we talk to a Lodi winemaker who credits Cal Poly’s 'Learn by Doing' philosophy for creating graduates armed with the practical, hands-on skills sought out by the wine industry.

On this week’s Issues and Ideas, we talk gun safety and gun violence. As of Monday, December 9, 2019, there have been been 393 mass shootings across the United States and more than 55,000 acts of gun violence. We speak with two Central Coast community members with differing perspectives on the issues surrounding gun violence, gun safety and the 2nd Amendment. Dr. Bill Pummer of the San Luis Obispo Sportsman Association and Morro Bay city councilmember and Women’s March SLO founder Dawn Addis join host Brian Reynolds in the KCBX studio.

On the latest Issues & Ideas, a San Luis Obispo artist is working to find more employment opportunities for artists in the community. Jami Ray is the founder of Lamplight Arts Collective, a grassroots group of local independent artists working together to bring live art to San Luis Obispo and, hopefully, create paying gigs for Central Coast artists. We recently sat down with Ray to learn more about live art and the collective—which will be showcasing live art at the San Luis Obispo Farmer's Market on Thursday, December 5.

Playing With Food: Mystery cracked; it's walnuts!

Nov 25, 2019
Fr. Ian Delinger

A mystery grove along Highway 101 turns out to be walnuts. “Playing With Food” cracks the nut on 57 years of growing walnuts on the Central Coast near San Ardo.

On this week’s Issues & Ideas, a hit true crime podcast in Australia tells the story of a mysterious woman who allegedly defrauded a family and then escaped to the Central Coast.

Dustin Wise

A hit true crime podcast in Australia has a major Central Coast connection. Season four of the “Unravel” podcast, titled Snowball, zeroes in on what the producers call 'love fraud.' The podcast revolves around a mysterious woman and the family she allegedly defrauded, and one family member's obsession with finding her, tracking down another alleged victim in Paso Robles, and even confronting the woman at the center of it all in San Luis Obispo. Click the Listen button above to learn more.

Issues & Ideas: 'Ballet Unbound'

Nov 13, 2019
Performing Arts Center, San Luis Obispo

A San Luis Obispo dance company is about to debut its fall season of performances. The mission of Movement Arts Collective is to “enhance the artistic landscape of the local and regional community through dance performance, education, and outreach, building both the artists and the audiences of the future.” Their upcoming contemporary ballet and modern dance performance titled "Ballet Unbound,” on November 15 and 17, is set to live music and showcases three works focused on the theme of overcoming barriers.

(Clockwise) Michael Kienitz; Douglas Lochner; Greta Mart

On this week’s Issues & Ideas: Truth in Recruitment is a student advocacy group working to reduce the presence of military recruiters on high school campuses. We hear the group's concerns and what they are doing to expand access to information about post-high school options for teens. We also hear the perspectives of a Santa Maria Joint Unified School District administrator, and the U.S. Army captain in charge of military recruitment on the Central Coast.

Playing With Food: Pomegranate

Oct 28, 2019
Fr. Ian Delinger

From fire-red flowers in the summer to beautiful fruit in late autumn, the pomegranate can be found in small pockets of the Central Coast. Whether snacking on the seeds, sipping the juice or making jam, pomegranates are a taste-and-see must!

On this week’s Issues & Ideas, the city of Morro Bay continues its effort to build a $126 million dollar wastewater treatment facility near the north end of South Bay Blvd. But a group of residents are putting on the brakes with a referendum campaign; the county is currently verifying signatures that could trigger a public vote.

On this week’s Issues & Ideas, one Central Coast community is helping teachers fight affordability issues by housing them on school district land. 

Playing With Food: Lavender in the kitchen

Sep 30, 2019
Fr. Ian Delinger

In the early summer, many of our yards are dotted with the vibrant purple flowers of lavender. In addition to the splash of color they give to our golden lawns, the heavenly scent of lavender relaxes us when the dried buds are put in sachets and dotted around the house. But did you know that lavender has many culinary uses? There are a handful of lavender farms along the Central Coast, and Father Ian visited one to find out how to use the plant in everyday cooking.

On this week’s Issues & Ideas: 50 years ago, during the Woodstock music festival, Central Coast resident Jim Mills was serving in Vietnam. He shares memories of how he and the other troops stationed there stayed connected through music to their lives at home. Also, we have a discussion with local poet and founder of the Poetic Justice Project, Deborah Tobola, about teaching the arts to incarcerated people.

Issues & Ideas: Refections on the 'Conception,' surviving a mass shooting, and solutions journalism

Sep 9, 2019

We're back! After a month-long hiatus, KCBX's weekly news magazine returns. 

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