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

Some Metrolink trains still lack anti-crash system

About one-third of the miles Metrolink trains run on do not yet have the positive train control system installed to slow trains in unsafe conditions.

LA crossing guard shortage reflects city's hiring problems

Retirements among Los Angeles's aging workforce means the city's total number of crossing guards is falling just as the city has more money to fill vacancies.

LA planning comission: No amnesty for unlawful billboards

In a wide-raging series of decisions, the Citywide Planning Commission rejected proposals by a City Council committee to let rogue billboards remain

Why billboards that violate LA permits escape enforcement

City officials say they can't move on enforcement while a new sign proposal is making snail-like progress through the legislative process.

Who's behind Dockweiler beach contamination?

Councilman Mike Bonin wants L.A. Sanitation officials to investigate why more than a ton of needles, syringes and other waste washed up on Dockweiler Beach.

LA County could add more homeless shelter beds for El Niño

The added beds would be paired with more assertive steps — like geo-tagging homeless encampments — to get people living in riverbeds to leave before rains come.

More drones fly into LAX airspace, endangering aircraft

One-fifth of drone sightings by airline pilots and near-misses of commercial aircraft have been around LAX. The FAA is responding with education programs and ads.

Long Beach Marathon runners won't beat the weekend's heat

Race organizers are taking unusual steps to keep runners hydrated and cool. They are even letting the half-marathoners start early to beat the heat.

El Niño: Homes could flood along Arroyo Seco Channel

County flood control officials have mapped nearly 500 parcels, mostly homes, that could flood if El Niño brings an unusually large series of storms.

California kicks in $25 million to LA's 'crown jewel' land buy

Los Angeles has wanted the 42-acre parcel to create a wetlands park along the LA River; negotiations with Union Pacific Co. have been going on since 2013

Much-delayed LA billboard law creeps toward approval

A citywide billboard measure has been stuck in a city committee for so long, the Planning Commission that drafted it has all new members, and they want another look.

El Niño preparations mostly on track in LA County

Except for exceptions — the biggest being Devil's Gate Dam's high level of sediment, which won't be cleared until next year at the earliest.

Some businesses back higher gas taxes in California

An upcoming special session will see the Legislature debating again whether to increase the state gas tax and vehicle license fees to raise billions for road repairs.

El Niño update: Still on track for a stormy SoCal winter

Rising ocean temperatures and diminishing tradewinds auger for a strong and stormy El Nino winter, but rain is not guaranteed

Water agencies may have to publicly declare seismic risks

A bill on governor's desk would require water providers to file reports showing what's at risk in a big earthquake and a plan to reduce vulnerability