Sharon McNary

Politics Reporter

Contact Sharon McNary

Sharon McNary is a Politics Reporter for Southern California Public Radio. She uses public records, public engagement sourcing and other methods (like good old fashioned shoe leather) to help draw stories from the experience, expertise and concerns of our communities as well as from political agendas. These days, she is covering the built environment around Southern California -- sidewalks, water and sewer systems -- to find out what's working, what's broken, and who's fixing it.

In her first three years at KPCC, Sharon launched KPCC’s Public Insight Network, a group of several thousand people who — by sharing their experiences and expertise — help the newsroom cover Southern California. People who respond to Public Insight Network questions have been included in many KPCC award-winning news reports, including investigative coverage of prison conditions, long-form narratives, and talk show segments.

A military veteran, McNary was a computer programmer before she was a journalist, so she has always sought out tech-savvy and creative ways to cover news.

McNary has worked in TV news and documentaries, radio, wire service and newspapers in the Southern California news market, developing award-winning investigative and computer-assisted reporting projects.

Following a mid-career public service break with the Peace Corps in Bolivia, McNary returned to print and multimedia reporting. She has covered disasters, government corruption, growth and immigration, often using databases, mapping and other technology tools to break news.

McNary is an avid cook, seamstress and knitter while her outdoor pursuits are competing in marathons and triathlons

Stories by Sharon McNary

As drought drags on, what should happen to the Silver Lake Reservoir

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has a big challenge on it's hands. It's promised to refill the Silver Lake Reservoir once construction to reroute water distribution pipes is finished — a project that required draining the 400-million-gallon lake.

Recycled water, groundwater to refill Silver Lake Reservoir

L.A. officials had wanted to use drinking water but decided against it in light of the state's ongoing drought.

How to refill Silver Lake Reservoir in the midst of a drought

Originally, the L.A. Department of Water and Power expected to use drinking water to fill the lake, but the ongoing drought has the agency looking to other sources, like runoff or recycled water.

LA County cooling centers could heat up during power outages

Only two of the county's 95 cooling centers are wired for access to backup generators — meaning that during a power outage, those cooling centers could be hot.

Why LA's electrical grid is at greater risk this fire season

If a wildfire blocks the import of power to the L.A. Basin, it could stress power producers who are already facing a potential shortage of natural gas — their primary fuel for generating electricity.

San Gabriel Complex: Firefighters brace to protect homes; Residents prep to evacuate

Firefighters have been hampered by extremely dry and rocky terrain, sporadic wind gusts and thin staffing, as nearby crews work to extinguish wildfires throughout SoCal.

Fires near Azusa, Duarte prompt evacuations, outages

Firefighters are battling two brush fires. Some residents have been forced to evacuate, while others were told to prepare for possible evacuation as the fires continued to burn.

Developers, billboard companies on record lobbying pace in LA

Developers and others spent more than $13 million in the first quarter to get their issues in front of city council members, commissioners and staffers

Could Porter Ranch gas leak disrupt the gasoline supply?

Five LA-area refineries could be vulnerable to shutdowns and interruptions, an industry group warns. The state Energy Commission is studying the claim.

Bill would make SoCal's 'Rim of the Valley' a recreation area

Designation as a national recreation area would give the National Parks Service authority to construct trails and other public uses

Why LA's worst streets are likely to stay that way for a while

The city spends most of its limited street repair budget maintaining good and fair streets while devoting just two of every ten dollars in the budget to fixing more expensive poor streets.

California primary: What's at stake, what you need to know

As California voters head to the polls Tuesday for the state's primary election, we bring you voting information and a roundup of what's on your ballot.

Many SoCal Gas wells leak; air quality cops have little recourse

The AQMD can cite oil refineries and chemical plants for leaks, but state laws carved out an exception for methane leaks at gas storage fields.

SoCal Gas at odds with state over leaked-methane estimates

The amount of gas that blew out of the ruptured well matters because future methane mitigation programs will be based on that number.

Judge orders SoCal Gas to pay for Porter Ranch home cleaning

The order supports a directive from public health officials that SoCal Gas is responsible for cleaning more than 2,500 homes before ending its relocation assistance.