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

5 things to know about the plan to ship water to Southern California

SoCal's largest water importer looks to revive a plan to shore up the region's water supplies by reconfiguring diversions from NoCal.

California measures Sierra Nevada snowpack amid dry winter

Department of Water Resources officials trekked to the mountains Thursday to check the snow depth, one gauge of the state's water supply. Snow levels are about one quarter of normal.

As families return to Montecito homes, disease threat from mud persists

Santa Barbara County officials tested the mud that flowed through Montecito neighborhood, finding concerning levels of bacteria and hydrocarbons.

Why Southern California’s newspapers are having such a tough time

The newspaper's dillema: Print ads dwindle at traditional "papers of record" like the L.A. Times, but online revenues aren't enough to keep newsrooms robust

SoCal residents saved enough water for 2 million households last year

Thank the torn out lawns, low-flow toilets, super efficient washing machines and smart sprinklers for saving more than 1 million acre feet, according to the Metropolitan Water District.

Thomas Fire: Ventura looks to keep displaced fire victims in the city

Proposed new rules could waive some development fees and open burned parcels for RV living while some 500 homes are rebuilt.

Air regulators propose stricter controls but not ban on toxic refinery chemical

Over the past year, the South Coast Air Quality Management District has examined ways to make two refineries that use hydrofluoric acid safer.

California needs to store natural gas underground, report says

A state study has found that other alternatives are too costly to meet California's energy needs. It noted the potential risks from earthquakes and other leaks.

Air quality regulators considering proposal to ban or reduce risk of toxic chemical at Torrance, Wilmington oil refineries

The South Coast Air Quality Management District is expected to meet with representatives from the Torrance and Wilmington petroleum refineries on Saturday to discuss a proposal that could ban or change their use of modified hydrofluoric acid (MHF) — a potentially lethal chemical if leaked.

National Guard soldier ferried Montecito mud survivors to safety

Some trucks and drivers were positioned in advance of the storm and were reaching victims within an hour of the mudslide.

17 killed in Montecito mudslides identified; 43 missing

Santa Barbara County released a list with the names of the dead, who ranged from ages 3 to 89.

Victim search expands as mudslides kill 17

There were also at least 25 injured, with thousands still under evacuation orders. At least 50 had to be rescued by helicopters.

SoCal storm triggers mudslides, killing at least 15 and destroying homes

There were also at least 25 injured, with thousands still under evacuation orders. In Burbank, the storm overflowed a storm basin Tuesday afternoon, sending mud flowing through.

Rain prompts evacuations for Southern California burn areas

With the first major storm of the season heading for Southern California, residents in the burn areas for recent major fires are preparing for potential mudslides.

Thomas Fire: Insurers sent private fire crews to threatened homes

Private fire crews, a service once reserved for high-end insurance clients, are increasingly being sent to less costly homes during wildfires