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

Air quality scientist uses lasers to detect Porter Ranch methane

The leak may be capped but testing continues as Porter Ranch residents question when the air will clear. One scientist drives around in a mobile methane detector.

Porter Ranch facts vs. rumors

SoCalGas has spent $1.4 million on public relations yet continues to struggle to answer questions about the effects of the gas leak and counteract rumors.

Porter Ranch: Massive gas leak could be capped next week

An adviser to Gov. Jerry Brown told residents of Porter Ranch on Thursday that the final phase to intercept the ruptured well should start Monday.

Judge may approve gas storage emergency rules this week

The state's emergency declaration over the Porter Ranch gas leak could be approved Friday, bringing new requirements for inspections at gas storage fields.

How your gas bill works — and why customers are complaining

SoCal Gas says neither the big gas leak near Porter Ranch nor its new gas meters caused gas bills to soar. The company blames higher usage during cold months.

Calif. attorney general joins city-county lawsuit in Porter Ranch gas leak

The lawsuit alleges the agency violated state health and safety laws related to the Porter Ranch gas leak.

Local energy reliability possibly at risk with Porter Ranch gas leak

The heads of three state energy agencies say they worry LADWP and other local power providers could run short of gas needed to generate power on days of peak demand.

Porter Ranch gas leak: Benzene levels higher elsewhere, AQMD says

AQMD data show the levels of the cancer-causing chemical benzene are higher in Burbank and the L.A. basin than they are in neighborhoods near a three-month-long gas leak.

Porter Ranch: Regulators want all underground gas wells checked for leaks

They also requested a massive amount of data on the leaking well at the Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Storage Facility near Porter Ranch.

Lawmakers eye their own districts' underground gas fields

The big leak is in Aliso Canyon near Porter Ranch, but other gas fields have had their own problems, and lawmakers are starting to voice concerns

State lacks backup plan if natural gas supplies run low

A top state utility regulator said contingency plans to supply natural gas are lacking if the Porter Ranch gas leak causes the Aliso Canyon field to be closed.

Air quality order for gas leak delayed yet again

The order requiring SoCal Gas Co. to halt the leak, reduce underground gas pressure and step up monitoring and inspection could be approved Saturday

DWP board approves higher power rates

The vote follows a similar action last month to increase water rates. If the City Council approves both, water and power bills will rise starting April 1.

Porter Ranch gas leak to be stopped ahead of schedule, utility says

Southern California Gas Co. said that it has abandoned efforts to trap and burn the gas released by a huge leak, but also said the 12-week-old leak should be stopped ahead of schedule.

Health officials acknowledge delay in comprehending scope of gas leak

The Los Angeles County Public Health Department says it wasn't until a large number of people reported ailments that more serious steps needed to be taken