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

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

LA councilman calls out FAA over noisy LAX flights

City Councilman Mike Bonin used a barnyard epithet to describe the FAA's explanation for reports of increased noise from airplanes using LAX.

Porter Ranch gas leak: California state lawmakers propose new bills

California state Sen. Fran Pavley proposes more inspections on gas fields at Aliso Canyon and at 13 other underground gas storage areas with old wells.

Porter Ranch gas leak: Gov. Brown declares the leak an emergency

Brown declared a state of emergency over the natural gas leak that has driven thousands from their homes in the Porter Ranch neighborhood over the past two months.

El Niño: Tracking at-risk areas in Southern California

See areas that are vulnerable to El Niño storm damage. We'll keep it updated as the season progresses.

El Niño rains test flood and mudslide prevention work

Clearing debris basins in mountains and foothills, raising the height of channel walls and constructing beach berms along the ocean -- will it be enough protection?

Private partnership recommended for LA Convention Center expansion

The old-school method is to borrow money to build the expansion. But a city administrator proposes putting the project in private hands to limit taxpayer investment

Assemblyman calls for investigation into Porter Ranch gas leak

Mike Gatto plans to use his status as newly-appointed chairman of the Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee to head up a probe into the leak.