Sharon McNary

Infrastructure Correspondent

Contact Sharon McNary

Sharon McNary is a correspondent for Southern California Public Radio covering infrastructure. 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

Porter Ranch gas leak cost approaches $1 billion

It includes what SoCal Gas spent housing thousands of families away from Porter Ranch while the leak was active, and a program to capture greenhouse gases equivalent to what got into the atmosphere from the broken gas well.

Cheaper gas or better roads? The battle over California's new gas tax

Government officials and construction interests who want to keep the gas tax face off against anti-tax activists to win the hearts and minds of California voters.

LA landowners face potential new property tax for rain capture

The proposed tax could raise $300 to $400 million per year to fund projects to capture more of the stormwater that falls on L.A. County and is lost to the sea.

AQMD panel wants safety measures, but no ban, to cope with hazardous refinery chemical

Air quality staffers had been working toward a ban, but the officials who govern the agency call for less stringent means of reducing the risk of a toxic chemical.

Why you may pay more in your power bill for damage from utility-caused fires

A bill pending in the State senate would make it easier for utilities to pass on to ratepayers the costs of wildfires their equipment cause.

Judge: SoCal Gas may do key study of its Aliso gas field despite potential conflict

Lacking another entity willing to do the study, a judge ordered SoCal Gas to evaluate its underground gas reservoir. The report will be overseen by independent experts.

Should Elon Musk's Westside tunnel get to skip environmental review? Some LA leaders think so

The region's transit agency worries The Boring Company's tunnel could interfere with its plans to build a subway under Sepulveda Boulevard.

Pacific Ocean methane burp could be source of Westside odor

Smell from Santa Monica to Venice to West L.A. could have come from decomposing seaweed or algae releasing methane as well as rotten-egg smelling sulphur compounds.

MWD's mega tunnels project: What could go wrong?

The hard part's out of the way, MWD's board voted to build two tunnels under the Bay Delta. Now comes the harder part: Clearing political and construction hurdles.

In historic vote, SoCal agency picks up most of $17 billion water project

The Metropolitan Water District voted to revive a controversial project to build two water delivery tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.

Highland Park sidewalk mosaics rep Chicken Boy and other neighborhood icons

Fourteen mosaics depicting Highland Park's colorful past have been installed on Figueroa Street sidewalks between Avenues 53 and 59.

SoCal water bills would go up under new Delta tunnel plan

Efforts to save the twin-tunnel plan could mean a higher increase than the original plan. The average home bill would now rise on average $2.40 to $4.80 a month.

Forest Service has a plan to stop the burn — at least financially

The new federal spending bill should halt U.S. Forest Service raids on forest management funds when firefighting money is used up.

How to stay safe as the strongest storm of the season rolls into SoCal

Where to get sandbags, sign up for emergency alerts and monitor storm conditions near the Thomas Fire and other burn areas.

Why SoCal gas-fired power plants are on the chopping block

The closure and cancellation of gas-fired power plants comes amid a California power glut and improvements in battery storage. But gas isn't over.