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

AQMD board fires executive after 18 years

The board shifted to a Republican majority last year, signaling a potential change in philosophy that some say is more focused on business interests and less on air pollution.

AQMD's longtime chief could be ousted by new GOP majority

A new Republican majority on the board will consider firing the air quality board's top executive in a closed-door meeting this Friday.

LADWP braces for gas shortages this summer

When gas supplies run short, as they are expected to this summer, big gas-burning power plants could be among the first users to be cut off.

SoCal Gas posts higher earnings despite gas leak costs

The bill to deal with the leaking gas well is at $330 million and counting, but SoCal Gas is relying on a billion dollar insurance policy to cover the cost

Temporary outdoor watering ban to begin in Pasadena, Altadena

A MWD water plant has been taken offline for an upgrade, so a few local water retailers won't have access to supplies

Like Porter Ranch, these LA neighborhoods have aging gas wells nearby

An aging oil well used to inject and withdraw natural gas from underground fields was the problem at Porter Ranch. Similar old wells exist near homes in other areas.

LA to hire oil and gas expert to help defuse controversies

As calls for restricting oil and gas operations mount, city officials say they need expert advice to chart next steps.

Porter Ranch: Lessons from past attempt to kill a well

The Porter Ranch gas leak is temporarily stopped using a method SoCalGas first tried 25 years ago on a different well -- with mixed results.

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.