Sharon McNary Politics Reporter

Sharon McNary
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

Long Beach faults Southern California Edison power outage responses

Fire official says Edison reps had too little knowledge of the power grid to help city emergency responders, hampering information flow amid widening outages

LAX board approves big increase in pest control spending

The plan spends $750,000 a year — a tenfold jump over the current contract — to keep pest control workers on site around the clock.

LAX spending on pest control to increase tenfold

The airport spends $70,000 a year on exterminators who come when called. The new approach envisions having pest control workers at LAX 24/7

Edison seeks help to diagnose Long Beach vault explosions

A consultant will help Southern California Edison figure out why its downtown electrical vaults blew up, leaving thousands in the dark for days last month.

A wet winter could test some LA flood control dams

Five of 14 flood control dams in L.A. County have high levels of sediments from fire scorched hillsides. A wet winter could swamp reduced flood storage capacity.

Suspension of disbelief: We watch a pothole actually being filled in downtown Los Angeles

KPCC's Sharon McNary hangs out in downtown Los Angeles watching dozens of cars hit a pothole, until city workers fill it up.

SoCal Edison says most underground electrical vaults need repairs

After underground vaults exploded last week, Edison has inspected 300 vaults in Long Beach. It's part of a vast inspection program.

Long Beach vault explosion: Officials mad at Edison over outages

Edison said it would send crews to inspect vaults downtown starting at 10 a.m. and anticipates power would be back for all customers by 6 p.m., according to Long Beach police.

Long Beach Airport noise violations fund library, local nonprofits

JetBlue has paid more than $4 million in noise violation fines since 2003. That money goes to the nonprofit Long Beach Public Library Foundation.

UCLA flood: Welders fixed Sunset Blvd. pipe break with string, math and mud

L.A. DWP welders used old-school math and measurements taken with string to fabricate replacement parts for a massive broken pipe for which no blueprints existed.

UCLA flood takes a toll on LADWP's image and rate hike bid

The flood highlights DWP's case to raise water prices to pay for proactive pipe replacement, but it also raise questions about the utility's repair priorities.

10 Freeway bridge collapse: Caltrans offers alternative routes

The closure will force motorists seeking to use I-10 to travel between California and Arizona to go hundreds of miles out of their way to Interstate 8 to the south or Interstate 40 to the north.

Southern California lightning puts firefighters, pilots and lifeguards on alert

Lightning forced beaches to close and knocked out power to thousands. A plane was struck at takeoff from LAX. Firefighters are keeping watch in the burn zone.

North and Pines fires: I-15 reopens, evacuations continue

Cool, wet weather has helped firefighters keep fires near Baldy Mesa and Wrightwood from spreading. The threat of lightning strikes remains.

Watch: Underground fire causes Long Beach manhole cover to burst

Nobody was harmed when three Long Beach underground power vaults exploded, but deaths and injuries have occurred in prior blasts