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

Bill would delay reopening Aliso Canyon gas field

California state officials and SoCal Gas are close to returning the gas storage field to use. For at least one state senator, a crucial step is missing.

Porter Ranch residents' protest shuts down gas field meeting

Protesters complain about continuing illnesses they suspect are caused by chemicals from the Aliso Canyon natural gas field, noting that an investigation into the cause of the nation's worst-ever uncontrolled natural gas release has not been completed.

SoCal Gas faces last hurdle to reopening Aliso gas field

The company has overhauled at its stricken storage field to meet new safety standards. Now it wants state permission to reopen. Public meetings on the request are set.

SoCal Gas lifts advisory after cold spell

The utility lifted its advisory on Thursday for both residential and business customers after asking them to reduce their use of gas appliances, including heaters.

California's freeze on Aliso gas field use shatters in the cold

SoCal Gas pulled gas from the underground storage field near Porter Ranch for the first time in a year. The field's been closed since a massive well blowout.

Citizen digging triggers proposed ban at Torrance refinery

After an explosion rocked the Torrance Refinery in early 2015, residents used scientific research and public records to raise questions about a dangerous chemical.

How much storm water is LA catching?

In this rainy year, enough water to serve more than a half-million people has already been saved to groundwater storage. But more could be saved

SoCal Gas to remain under AQMD nuisance abatement order

The air quality regulatory board and SoCal Gas agreed the company would provide the "reasonable" costs of a health study, but the company has not funded the inquiry.

Aliso Canyon could reopen without answers on well failure

Some families have been pressing public officials to keep the field closed, saying that any reopening talks should wait until the cause of the well break is known.

Did Porter Ranch Neighborhood Council official misspend funds?

The group's treasurer resigned and reimbursed the city more than $27,000 to cover expenditures the L.A. City Clerk found questionable.

Proposed federal water bill would streamline new dam projects

A far-reaching bill proposed by a Central California Republican congressman could strip away the regulations and requirements that make dam construction a decades-long process.

Gov. Brown to name new supervisor following Benoit's death

Benoit served as a Riverside County Supervisor, representing the Palm Springs area, for seven years. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer just last month.

Private power line sparked Lake Isabella's Erskine Fire

Federal officials will take over the investigation and determine who, if anybody, might be saddled with financial responsibility or even criminal charges

Did consumers save enough natural gas during the recent cold snap?

Turn your thermostat to 68 degrees to avert a possible shortage of natural gas, SoCal Gas told consumers. But did they? And if they did, did it help?

ExxonMobil CEO's legacy of SoCal environmental mishaps

The company's operation of the Torrance Refinery drew millions of dollars in fines for excessive flaring, and an investigation into a February 2015 explosion continues.