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

Running to recovery in 'Skid Row Marathon'

An L.A. Superior Court Judge started a running club that includes recovering addicts and others who have appeared before his bench. Their story is told in a new documentary.

Pollution fines could be spent on refinery air monitors

An advisory board recommends spending $2.2 million on an air monitoring system for three years, and about $600,000 upgrading Torrance's alert system

LADWP delays new power plants to consider greener options

Plans to build two natural gas-fired plants near Dockweiler Beach are on hold while a study of other options using renewable energy is conducted.

LA County could see a new tax for water projects

Stormwater management projects to funnel rainwater underground instead of out to the ocean could be funded with a new parcel tax.

Santa Monica will shorten airport runway in prelude to closure

Cutting 1,500 feet off the city's airport runway will trim the number of flights by nearly half. It's part of a long-term strategy to eventually close the airport

Carson sues air quality agency over mega-refinery approval

Tesoro's adjacent refineries in Wilmington and Carson are to be merged into a single refinery, the largest on the West Coast.

Summer energy forecast for LA: Cautiously optimistic

The lack of natural gas storage following a massive gas leak means gas-fired power plants are still at risk for shortages, but not as dire as last year, officials say.

Eclipse will cast a shadow on sunny SoCal's solar power

California now gets roughly 30 percent of its power from solar on sunny days. Grid operators are already preparing backup sources for the Aug. 21 eclipse.

The road to repair is paved in California's gas tax billions

California drivers are footing the bill for $52 billion in new road repair money over the next decade. The first increases at the pump kick in in November.

SoCal Gas ordered to refill 'depleted' local gas fields

To reduce the risk of gas shortages, the state has ordered the utility to immediately refill storage fields that are not under the Aliso Canyon moratorium.

Where to sound off on SoCal Edison's new rate proposal

The new rates bump power prices up each of the next three years, with the average consumer paying $200 more per year in 2020.

Garbage goes uncollected in LA trash industry turmoil

Los Angeles city's 3-1-1 help line received dozens of calls when one vender, whose drivers were hired by a competitor, couldn't pick up commerical garbage

2 years after Torrance refinery blast, new report places blame on ExxonMobil

A huge explosion at the Torrance Refinery two years ago could have been prevented if then-owner Exxon Mobil had paid more attention to safety, according to a report released Wednesday by the U.S. Chemical Safety Board.

Old parts, safety gaps caused 2015 Torrance Refinery blast

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board issued its findings Wednesday into the causes of a large explosion at the Exxon Mobil Refinery, but it still seeks critical information.

Questions linger over closure of Whittier Law School

Whittier College sold it's law school property for $35 million three months before making the decision to close the law school. Faculty said they were blindsided.