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

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. 

Fifty years ago, in August of 1969, half a million young people gathered on a farm in New York for the Woodstock Music & Art Festival. To mark the anniversary, KCBX shares the stories of San Luis Obispo County residents who were there. 

On this week's episode of Issues & Ideas: Do you want to make your home wildfire resistant? A landscape design expert says much of the conventional wisdom about native landscapes and fire is wrong. Greg Rubin, president and founder of California's Own Native Landscape Design, is coming to San Luis Obispo on August 1 to share techniques he has developed to create sustainable, ecologically responsible, fire-resistant landscapes. 

Playing With Food: Apricots from See Canyon to beer

Jul 29, 2019
Fr. Ian Delinger

Traipsing through an orchard of overburdened fruit trees, Father Ian sees the apricots in See Canyon are ripe for the pickin’. What are the ingredients needed to produce the best crop ever? What is a new way to use apricots? Find out on the latest edition of “Playing With Food."

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.

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.

Playing With Food: Picking blueberries

Jul 1, 2019
Fr. Ian Delinger

It’s berry season! The rain is gone; the sun is out; the berries are poppin’. Time to put on the elbow-length leather gloves and wade into the brambles, right? Not quite. 

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.

Playing With Food: Vegan cheese with ease

Jun 3, 2019
Fr. Ian Delinger

Vegan cheese has come to the Central Coast, and if you think it’s a passing fad, find out what Father Ian discovered up in Paso Robles. Not only can you buy it and taste it, you can learn how to make it at home.

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. 

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. 

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.

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.

Playing With Food: Journeys with Rachel

Apr 29, 2019
Rachel Duchak

Living in Los Osos has transformed the culinary endeavors of KCBX Morning Edition host Rachel Duchak, and it starts in her garden. Homegrown, carefully attended, and seasonally selected shape Rachel’s passion for plants. Visiting in her fog-kissed garden, we learn about her journey from the Midwest to California, and from English professor to radio host in this “Playing With Food.”

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. 

Courtesy of Santa Barbara Mission Archive-Library

It’s often said that if we don’t know our history, we don’t know who we are or where we are going. All of us need to know a lot more about local history. In a sense, our history is who we are. Join host Brian Reynolds and local historian Joe Carotenuti in a discussion about historical subjects dear to the hearts of residents on the Central Coast: the missions, the city of San Luis Obispo, public libraries, and more. Join us!

KCBX News

On this week's Issues & Ideas, we explore the proposed Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary, via a recent documentary that focuses on different stakeholders in Central Coast waters. We hear from California Secretary of State Alex Padilla about Census 2020 and what an accurate count means for the region. We get to know some Central Coast chefs who are doing things just a little differently to bring food to the table. And we learn about an upcoming chorale concert series taking place in San Luis Obispo and some scientific effects of music on singers.

Tyler Pratt/KCBX News

Spencer Johnston is the chef/owner of Danior Kitchen, a catering company in San Luis Obispo. He recently launched at pop-up dinner series called the Turntable Supper Club, an intimate and curated food and wine experience. Johnston stopped by the KCBX studios with fellow chef A.J. LaRosa of the wood-fired catering company, Bear and the Wren, and Lannon Rust, owner of Rust Wine Company and former wine director of Thomas Hill Organics in Paso Robles, to talk about the region's access to incredible food products, the challenges of opening a restaurant on the Central Coast, and how they are doing things a little differently to bring food—and wine—to local consumers.

Courtney Gerard

Sacred Waters from Courtney Gerard on Vimeo.

On the April 8, 2019 episode of Issues & Ideas, we heard the audio to a recent documentary entitled “Sacred Waters.” Created by filmmaker Courtney Gerard, “Sacred Waters” features the stakeholders in a proposal to designate a new marine sanctuary off the Central Coast. The Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary proposal is spearheaded by the Northern Chumash Tribal Council and supported by many, opposed by many others. In the film, Gerard explores the sanctuary's nomination. 

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. 

Playing With Food: Preparing for Passover

Mar 25, 2019
A Seder Plate used at the Passover Meal
Fr. Ian Delinger

The Festival of Passover is not far off. What is haroset, and why not make homemade matzo crackers? Father Ian Delinger joins two ladies who are preparing for Passover in this installment of Playing With Food.


Courtesy of the Hourglass Project

Diving into the subject of economic vitality and growth on the Central Coast, KCBX News speaks with Melissa James, CEO of a new collaboration among local private industry leaders. The Hourglass Project aims to encourage the mindful shaping of new industry and fostering future jobs across the region, particularly in light of the planned 2025 closure of a major economic engine in the area, PG&E's Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant.

MARELBU/wikimedia commons

This week we’re airing two recent studio interviews, offering different perspectives on downtown San Luis Obispo. Lately, there's a been a lot of civic conversation about the best path forward to nurture a vibrant, thriving downtown. 

Pages