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

Courtesy Eric Alexiev

Correspondent Randi Hair reports from Templeton, California where she visits with Eric Alexiev who spent his formative years on the central coast. His father was born and raised in Bulgaria and Eric was immersed as a kid with the cuisine, culture, and stories shared by his father, Alex Alexiev, and Bulgarian friends at the dinner table. The capital city of Sophia and Bulgaria were ingrained in Eric’s thoughts as he grew up.

slocounty.gov.ca

Join correspondent Tom Wilmer for a conversation with Dr. Penny Borenstein, San Luis Obispo County's Public Health Director about dealing with COVID-19 over the past year, and best hope scenarios looking in to the near-term future.

Underwriting support provided by Nashville's Big Back Yard economic initiative focused on rural communities in the southwest quarter of Tennessee and the Shoals Region of Northern Alabama.

Playing With Food: Central Coast Salumiere

Mar 30, 2021
Fr. Ian Delinger

With artisan salami being rare, we are lucky on the Central Coast to have the only artisan salumiere between San Francisco and San Diego. Alle-Pia has been providing us with delicious salumi for 10 years, and Playing With Food got to see how it is done.

Thomas Wilmer

Correspondent Tom Wilmer visits with Abe Marquez, president of the Foundation at Hearst Castle. Marquez shares insights about the foundation’s ongoing educational programs that inspire and empower young students from underserved communities via hands on STEAM programs. Marquez met with Wilmer at the historic Hacienda, designed to serve as William Randolph Hearst’s ranch headquarters by legendary architect Julia Morgan.

Issues & Ideas: Mercy Air, CASA, and downtown SLO's Farmer's Market

Mar 23, 2021
downtownslo.com

Join correspondent Tom Wilmer at U.S. Army Reserve base Fort Hunter Liggett in Monterey County for a conversation with the crew of Mercy Air medevac operations. We’ll also check in with San Luis Obispo County's "Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children program"... known as CASA. Finally, we'll take a look back at the origin of downtown San Luis Obispo's Farmer's Market, and look ahead to see what we can expect upon its reopening.

Randi Hair

Mercy Air's primary mission is to support U.S. Army Reserve operations at Fort Hunter Liggett but they also respond to civilian casualties in Monterey and San Luis Obispo Counties. Mercy Air maintains a 24-hour presence for medevac service at Fort Hunter Liggett, with four crews and two helicopters.

On this episode of Issues and Ideas: Direct Relief, headquartered in Santa Barbara, has a long history of providing aid for medical emergencies around the world, and you’ll hear from Thomas Tighe, president and CEO, about responding to the Covid19 pandemic here on the Central Coast and abroad. You’ll also meet Cal Poly faculty member Michael Whitson, to learn about Pacific Crest Music Festival, a summer program that takes place in Northern California. Donn Clickard, of the Atascadero Greyhound Foundation talks about how the organization has helped many young people in the community face the challenges of drug abuse through a variety of programs, and now, there's a book aimed at helping other communities find the same success. And finally, we take a quick look back to 2012, when KCBX contributor Tom Wilmer took part in Dublin Ireland's St. Patrick's Day Parade; this year the famous parade is cancelled due to the pandemic.

photo courtesy of KVPR

UC Santa Barbara recently opened a certified Covid19 lab to meet the testing needs of students, faculty, and staff; you’ll hear from two of the doctors overseeing the process. Yosemite and the Sierra Nevada foothills are home to the Southern Sierra Miwuk Nation, and you’ll learn about the tribe’s battle for recognition by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. We'll hear a conversation with a local investment advisor about what's going on with the stock market. And finally, on Playing With Food, we take you east of Hwy. 101 near Carpinteria for locally grown passion fruit.

Playing With Food: Playing with passion fruit

Feb 22, 2021
Fr. Ian Delinger

The Central Coast has fantastic produce, much of which you wouldn’t think could grow here, including passion fruit! Just east of Hwy 101 along Gobernador Canyon Road outside of Carpenteria is a passion fruit grower who is providing locals a steady supply of tasty treats, elegant creations and even cocktails. Find out more on Playing With Food.”

Issues & Ideas: Big Sur landslide, a broken EDD and Central Coast internet connectivity

Feb 9, 2021

On this episode of Issues & Ideas, Central Coast state senator John Laird talks with KCBX’s Greta Mart about the EDD and the effort to fix the dysfunctional agency. New research out of UC San Francisco examines the risk of COVID-19 death among essential workers, and we’ll hear from the UCSF epidemiologist who led the research team. Monterey County's Big Sur community faces more hardship now that a section of Highway 1 is yet again closed after a landslide. Governor Gavin Newsom is facing a recall effort, and we’ll take a look at who’s behind the effort and also fact check claims about Facebook’s role in the situation. You’ll hear a conversation about fiber optics and the future of internet connectivity on the Central Coast. Finally, a discussion about the important role of ‘makers’ to keep shopping interesting in a downtown setting.

Issues & Ideas: Alzheimer's research, farmworker vaccinations and expanding inclusion

Feb 2, 2021

50 agricultural workers receive the COVID-19 vaccine at their workplace in Fresno, which advocates say is the best way to ensure all farmworkers get vaccinated. Governor Gavin Newsom has had mixed success modernizing state bureaucracy in the last two years. You’ll hear from a UCSB neuroscientist about a research project aimed at understanding Alzheimer's. Also, we’ll get an update from Michelle Call of GALA Pride and Diversity Center on the ways the organization has become more inclusive. And finally, you’ll get a closer look at the work being done at SLO’s Transitions Mental Health Association.

Playing With Food: Looking for lobster

Jan 25, 2021
Charlie Graham

Often when we think of lobster, the giant-clawed Atlantic lobster in Maine comes to mind. We tend not to think of palm trees and the sandy beaches of Santa Barbara—but that’s precisely where Father Ian stumbled upon a California spiny lobster fisherman in this episode of 'Playing With Food.'

Issues & Ideas: Monarch butterflies, a surfing pioneer and SLO Village

Jan 13, 2021

On today's show we’ll learn about the union that more than 200 workers at Alphabet—the parent company of Google—have announced they're forming with the Communications Workers of America. This winter, the butterfly sanctuary in Pacific Grove is empty, and monarchs across the Central Coast and North America are disappearing while federal protection is still years away. You’ll hear from Santa Barbara filmmaker Heather Hudson, who recently released her third film—a tribute to surf pioneer Marge Calhoun. We'll speak with the head of SLO Village, a local organization helping to keep seniors living independently in their own homes. And finally, we explore the way San Luis Obispo is using lights and activites to attract people to the downtown core.

In this episode of Issues & Ideas, we learn about a project aimed at addressing climate change by planting trees in Stockton and renewing urban forests. A new law could help many musicians and performers in California once venues reopen. You’ll hear about a local company called Comevo that experienced success during the pandemic and stepped up to help others. The San Luis Obispo County Library system has faced challenges this past year, but continues to move forward with innovations and a lot of hard work. And finally, a local resident has been planting lots of fig trees from cuttings, and we’ll share some ideas about gardening, cooking and eating figs.

Playing With Food: Finding figs

Jan 4, 2021
Jacki Paul

Finding figs on the Central Coast is easy: there are wild trees along local river beds. Mission figs are the most common, but one Central Coast resident has been the 'Johnny Appleseed' of the Turkish fig.

Issues & Ideas: US fishing industry floundering, debris flow risk and the Channel Islands

Dec 28, 2020

On the December 21 edition of Issues & Ideas, we'll hear a report on how some GOP lawmakers in California oppose business shutdowns because they say there’s no evidence they reduce COVID-19 cases or spikes. And, you’ll hear about how the pandemic is impacting the fishing industry on the entral Coast and beyond, as KCBX speaks with a Central Coast fishing industry official and two academic researchers. Lake Tahoe has finally received a measurable amount of snow, and more is forecasted, but the pandemic has buried the tourist economy there. The rainy season is upon Monterey County and because of this summer’s major wildfires, the season brings a significant risk of debris flows. We have a report on how COVID-19 has affected one Central Valley family. We’ll also hear from a San Luis Obispo business owner about current challenges and opportunities—and the risks her family took during the pandemic to help their business stay afloat. Finally, we’ll learn about a new "un-textbook" written about the Channel Islands.

Thomas Wilmer

Join spokesperson Doug Yakel as he shares insights about the world of SFO, where more than 45,000 workers provide services for more than 150,000 travelers daily. SFO is just like a city with fire, police, shops, dining facilities, spas and an onsite Hyatt hotel.

On this week's edition of Issues & Ideas: Chris Lambert created the podcast "Your Own Backyard," about Kristin Smart and the nearly quarter-century-long unsolved case of her disappearance from San Luis Obispo's Cal Poly campus.

Thomas Wilmer

Join correspondent Tom Wilmer for a visit with Tim O’Brien, assistant director and curator of exhibitions at the SFO Museum. SFO showcases the arts, science, pop-culture, anthropology and aviation history in 28 galleries located in terminals throughout the airport.

Playing With Food: Flowers you can eat

Nov 30, 2020
Fr. Ian Delinger

Have you ever been to a fancy reception with wine flowing, an array of canapés made with all manner of produce from the Central Coast, charcuterie platters in various corners of the room alongside cheese boards large enough to climb? Did you ever notice that flowers adorned these platters and boards? Often, those flowers are edible. Playing With Food ventured up to Paso Robles to find out more about these culinary treats.

On this week's edition of Issues & Ideas: Since the beginning of the pandemic, facilities that care for the elderly have been hotspots for the spread of COVID-19. A new report says nationwide new cases in nursing homes have reached record numbers in November. You’ll hear from Michael Latner of Cal Poly, discussing partisanship, polls and what could change going forward in our country's elections. And we’ll learn about the nonprofit BraveMove.org from its founder and executive director Paul Monroe. He speaks about his experiences which led him to teaching and the work he does to help others succeed. And finally, many on the Central Coast book airline tickets through hubs like Los Angeles or San Francisco. But how safe are those larger airports? Doug Yakel with the San Francisco International Airport talks about COVID-19 holiday travel precautions at the airport.

Rick Stollmeyer co-founded the San Luis Obispo-based company Mindbody. Earlier this year, Stollmeyer stepped away from his role as CEO of the tech company and transitioned to board chair. He's written a book on entrepreneurship, with business advice based on his experience over the years with Mindbody. Garrett Olsen of the San Luis Obispo County Food Bank gives us an update and shares the challenges of providing food for community members in need during a pandemic. Finally, Father Ian Delinger takes us to Loo Loo Farms in Paso Robles to explore their edible flowers on "Playing With Food."

Issues & Ideas: SLO city council candidates, the changing media and the Elfin Forest

Nov 7, 2020

Six San Luis Obispo city council candidates answer questions posed by the KCBX newsroom, Pismo Beach residents decide their next mayor and a bed tax. We hear from Kim Bisheff of the Cal Poly Journalism Department, speaking about the changes in today’s media. And finally, we learn about the Elfin Forest Natural Area in Los Osos.

Playing With Food: The season for pumpkin spice

Oct 26, 2020
Fr. Ian Delinger

Pumpkin spice seems to be everywhere, and many are looking forward to that Thanksgiving pumpkin pie. But there’s one kind of pumpkin spice that is ewe-nique to the Central Coast. 

(This version has an additional 4 minutes of content not heard during the broadcast.)

KVEC

Join correspondent Tom Wilmer for a conversation with David Congalton about his 28-year journey as a conduit for conversations about life on the California Central Coast as the Home Town talk show host on radio station KVEC.

Issues & Ideas: Election coverage, reparations and internment camp memories

Oct 13, 2020

Among the dozen ballot measures this election, California voters are deciding on Proposition 17 and Proposition 15: we hear more about those two measures. John Laird and Vicki Nohrden are vying for termed-out Bill Monning’s state senate seat. Assemblywoman Shirley Weber chairs the California Black Legislative Caucus, and speaks about which laws she believes can help address systemic racism. We look at the long-term impacts of wildfire on the Central Coast, and we get a look at the local aviation industry. Two elderly friends talk about the Japanese-American internment camps during World War II and how they adjusted to life afterward. And, we hear from a fourth-generation resident about the changes downtown San Luis Obispo has experienced over the years.

KCBX's Greta Mart speaks with San Luis Obispo County top election official Tommy Gong about what is different in this November 3, 2020 election: the pandemic, new machinery, operational changes and possible power shutoffs. Scott Yoo, music director of Festival Mozaic and host of the newest installment of the PBS series "Now Here This," talks about  filming an episode in San Luis Obispo during the pandemic. The San Luis Obispo Legal Assistance Foundation helps people on the Central Coast who cannot afford to pay for legal services, and you’ll hear from the organization's executive director. Finally, on this month's Playing With Food, Father Ian Delinger joins a quest through poison oak to collect local wild yeast for brewing beer.

Playing With Food: Hunting wild yeast

Oct 5, 2020
Fr. Ian Delinger

Come along as Father Ian joins Chip Nasser of Night Lizard Brewing Company on a hunt for local wild yeast to make beer and bread. 

Thomas Wilmer

Correspondent Tom Wilmer reports from the San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport. County airport director Kevin Bumen shares information about COVID-19 sanitation initiatives within airport terminals and aboard aircraft. Bumen also talks about dealing with reduced daily flights (down fifty percent from 2019), a marked reduction of income from ancillary revenue streams such as long-term parking, and Bumen's new position as the first chief commercial officer at San Francisco International Airport (SFO), with his last day at San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport set on October 9.

Issues & Ideas: A virtual Monterey Jazz Festival, the SLO Botanical Garden and YouthWell

Sep 23, 2020

The Monterey Jazz Festival usually takes place at the Monterey County Fairgrounds on the third weekend in September, but the 63rd annual festival will be virtual. You'll hear from Beau and Melissa Kramer of Kramer Events talking about the recent challenges of the event business. The University of California at Berkeley is starting a new center to study the science of psychedelics and you’ll hear from one of the center's cofounders—journalist and author Michael Pollan. YouthWell is a nonprofit based in Santa Barbara that provides free mental health workshops and resources for teens, parents, and educators. The San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden’s programs have adapted to the pandemic, and there are big plans for the future. And finally today, you’ll hear a story of stranded hikers trapped in the wilderness by a raging wildfire.

Pages