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

Whittier Narrows Dam risk spurs flood planning downstream

A year ago, the Army Corps of Engineers said cities downstream from "unsafe" Whittier Narrows Dam lacked planning to evacuate in a flood.

Dirty restrooms taint LA city park grades

Nearly half those surveyed said gang activity kept them from going to city parks. Play equipment and indoor gyms scored high, but messy restrooms hurt the overall grade.

Utilities don't know cause of South LA blast

Two days after an underground electrical vault exploded, the cause remains unidentified, but SoCal Gas says there was a build-up of gas two blocks away.

Team begins analyzing La Tuna Fire mudslide risk

The group of scientists and experts will look at which slopes are likely to slide and recommend ways of reducing erosion and protecting homes on the fire perimeter.

Record heat melts the previous record for LA's power use

Two days registered the highest ever power demands within the city limits. Supply was good but DWP's distribution system was stressed, prompting rolling outages

La Tuna Fire grows to 7,000 acres, 30% containment

California Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency for L.A. County Sunday, as the La Tuna Fire grows to more than 7,000 acres in the hills above Burbank, Glendale and Sunland-Tujunga.

La Tuna Fire, one of the largest in LA history, burns thousands of acres

The La Tuna Fire continues to burn near Burbank, Glendale and Sun Valley, scorching at least 5,800 acres of brush. The fire was about 10% contained, authorities said late Saturday.

Some local dams could fail in an earthquake

It's the first time the state has made public its ratings of the dams it oversees. Perris and Castaic dams both have seismic safety deficiencies.

How much might 'the California Water Fix' cost LA?

A city report says the multi-billion-dollar California Water Fix would cost average ratepayers less than $2 a month, but opponents put the cost far higher.

Thousands give up control of home thermostats during a heat wave

Under a new program, Southern California Edison customers who opt into an energy savings program can let thermostat companies control their A/C

California regulators see methane spikes at Aliso Canyon

Since SoCal Gas resumed gas injections at the underground facility, airborne methane monitors have detected two spikes, triggering more monitoring.

AQMD says proof lacking that refinery chemical won't spread

The air quality agency is proposing a ban on the chemical, but the refineries that still use it oppose a ban and question the research supporting a ban.

The future of the LA Times after major shake-up

In the latest major shake-up at the Los Angeles Times, Executive Editor and Publisher Davan Maharaj and his second-in-command Marc Duvoisin were abruptly fired Monday, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Top editors abruptly ousted at Los Angeles Times

Executive Editor and Publisher Davan Maharaj and his second-in-command Marc Duvoisin were abruptly fired Monday, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Water agencies chase billions in CA Prop 1 project money

Groundwater storage projects are proposed for Orange and San Bernardino county water agencies. They are competing for funds with some big dam projects.