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

Thomas Fire in Ventura approaches Ojai, grows to 90,000 acres

The largest and most destructive wildfire burning in Southern California forced new evacuations and almost reached the ocean Wednesday.

Santa Ana winds bring fire danger to Southern California

Forecasters say it could be the strongest and longest Santa Ana wind event so far this season, with gusts capable of bringing down tree branches and power lines.

Convention Center hotel approved for $103 million tax break

One of every five dollars in tax revenue that would normally be paid by the project stays in the developer's pocket.

Officials warn of possible natural gas shortage this winter

An explosion in a SoCal Gas pipeline east of Barstow last month could result in gas shortages to customers in L.A. this winter. Officials warn consumers to conserve

In Long Beach, tax breaks grow on trees

Long Beach is the latest city to offer tax breaks to landowners who convert vacant lots to small urban farms. They're also charging a fee to those who don't.

$27 million later, the LA Snowpack Emergency of 2017 is over

Near-record snowpack in the Eastern Sierra produced a lot of extra water — and the city had to act fast to keep it from flooding roads up north.

Even Rose Parade floats can’t afford to live in Pasadena

The 2018 floats have been built in Irwindale and Azusa and a handful of other locations outside Pasadena due to real estate prices and safety issues.

Neighborhoods near La Tuna Fire vulnerable to mudslides

Los Angeles County Public Works has cleared debris basins and is installing mud-steering measures in its areas, but many residents have yet to prep their homes.

Supervisors approve big dig at Devil's Gate Dam

Local environmental groups had sued to limit the amount of sediment that could be removed and the amount of bird and wildlife habitat that could be torn out.

Exxon must turn over Torrance Refinery explosion documents

But a judge's ruling let the company withhold other documents sought by federal investigators concerning a potentially deadly chemical used at the refinery

Lawsuits, costs continue to mount in gas leak

The plaintiff count topped 43,000 individuals this month, two years after a gas well ruptured and caused thousands of people to relocate.

Less street sweeping could make all of LA cleaner

The city controller says street sweeping doesn't happen equally across the city. Reducing service in some neighborhoods could help other areas.

Truck driver, 18 Aliso Canyon gas protesters arrested

A truck driver drove perilously close to a group of demonstrators as they blocked the driveway to the Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Storage Facility on the second anniversary of the Porter Ranch gas leak.

2 years after blowout, Porter Ranch gas leak still upsets residents

Activity is limited at the massive gas storage field, and many regulatory and other challenges must be overcome for it to return to full service.

Refinery safety: New laws pass, deadly chemical ban stalls

Torrance Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi's bill to end the use of hydrofluoric acid at two local refineries awaits the outcome of a ban proposed by the AQMD