Debra Greene

Weekend On-Air Host / Reporter

Debra Greene is an award-winning broadcast journalist. She is a native Southern Californian, Phi Beta Kappa graduate from UCLA with an M.A. in broadcast journalism from USC’s Annenberg School for Communication. She started her career as a weekend news writer for a station in Los Angeles and then moved to Northern California to become a news reporter for a top Sacramento radio station. She returned to Los Angeles to report for radio, with a stint at KCET’s newsmagazine show, SoCal Connected. Before joining KCLU, Debra anchored at an Inland Empire-based radio station and worked as a radio news correspondent for 24/7 News Source, where her reports were aired on stations across the country.
 
Debra has earned numerous journalism awards including the Simon T. Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism from USC, two regional Edward R. Murrow Awards, an APTRA Mark Twain Award, a NorCal RTNDA Award and four Golden Mikes.
 
You can hear Debra anchoring on weekend mornings and her reports during the week, and you can reach Debra here.

Ways to Connect

There’s some good news on the job front for the South and Central Coasts. The California Employment Development Department is reporting a dip in unemployment numbers.

Photo by Ventura County Sheriff's Department

There’s a new effort on the South Coast aimed at improving public safety.

It’s called Ventura County Project to Support Reentry. This program was recently launched by the Ventura County Executive Office, the Ventura County Probation Agency, Interface Children and Family Services and the nonprofit Social Finance.

Authorities are investigating a deadly hit and run accident on the South Coast.

Santa Paula Police say around 5:30 Friday evening, officers responded to the 700 block of West Harvard Boulevard where they found a 74-year-old man in the middle of the roadway.

Photo by Khan Academy

A South Coast biotech company’s foundation is donating several million dollars in an effort to help students around the world learn biology.

The Amgen Foundation in Thousand Oaks is providing a three-year, $3 million grant to Khan to develop comprehensive new biology lessons.

Photo by NASA, ESA, G. Bacon (STSci)

Scientists have studied thousands of exploding stars – which are called supernovas – for hundreds of years. They’ve developed an understanding of how they work. But, now, astronomers on the South Coast have observed what they believe is a supernova doing strange things never seen before.  Their observations are challenging existing theories about supernovas.

Photo by VCTC

A new bus service that’s launching this week will help connect Ventura County’s eastern and western areas. 

The Ventura County Transportation Commission is opening the East-West Connector on Friday.

Robots built by middle and high school students compete on the South Coast.

This VEX Robotics competition that involved about 200 students from across Southern California took place Saturday at the Ventura County Office of Education Conference and Educational Services Center in Camarillo.

Researchers find that students on the South and Central Coasts are losing tens of thousands of days of instruction due to suspensions. 

A study by UCLA’s Center for Civil Rights Remedies shows that suspensions in school districts across Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties accounted for nearly 28,000 days of lost instruction during the 2014-2015 academic year.

A city on the South Coast has become smoke-free.

The city of Santa Barbara adopted a new law prohibiting smoking in outdoor public areas including beaches, parks, sidewalks, outdoor recreational areas and sports facilities, Stearns Wharf and outdoor restaurant patios before 10 pm.

Whooping cough is a dangerous disease that can be fatal, especially for infants. The concern is that the number of cases has dramatically increased over the last few decades. A scientist on the South Coast is doing groundbreaking research on whooping cough in hopes that it leads to stopping the spread of this harmful disease.

Photo by First 5 Santa Barbara County

A campaign has recently launched in Santa Barbara County aimed at boosting early brain development and language skills for young children. 

Media spots are being used to promote the Talking Is Teaching: Talk, Read, Sing campaign by First 5 Santa Barbara County. The local branch of First Five is taking the statewide campaign and rolling it out locally.

With warm temperatures, low humidity and gusty winds across much of the South and Central coasts this weekend, the region is under fire weather conditions.

A red flag warning – indicating high fire danger – is in effect for the Santa Barbara County mountains – including the Santa Ynez range -- until Sunday morning and for the Ventura County mountains until Tuesday evening.

Photo by Joe McFadden

A South Coast scientist was among an international group of researchers who studied the dangers climate change poses on northern cities. 

Most climate change research focuses on southern cities and how the warming of the climate can cause such things as heat waves. So, instead, UC Santa Barbara geography associate professor Joe McFadden collaborated with scientists around the globe to look at northern cities.

Photo by Las Cumbres Observatory

An astronomical phenomenon that has been a theory for years has finally been proven. Astronomers on the South Coast were part of an international group of researchers that observed this incredible cosmic event.

Photo by Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital

Nursing mothers are being encouraged to donate their breast milk this week on the South Coast to help premature infants. 

Cottage Children’s Medical Center in Santa Barbara is holding a breast milk donor drive to benefit babies who are patients in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Mothers sometimes can’t produce enough milk when their babies are born premature. 

Authorities are investigating the deaths of two men and several overnight shootings in one South Coast city.

Oxnard Police say one is a deadly shooting and the other is a suspicious death.

Ventura County students interested in computer science took part in a workshop over the weekend to learn how to code to create their own apps.

The event called “Hack-A-Thon” was hosted by Congresswoman Julia Brownley’s office and was held on Saturday at Pacifica High School in Oxnard.

Photo by City of Santa Barbara Waterfront Department

There’s an event happening on the South Coast that celebrates the region’s seafood and the fishermen who harvest it.

It’s Santa Barbara’s 16th annual Harbor and Seafood Festival on Saturday, October 14. It coincides with the opening of commercial lobster season.

Photo by Las Cumbres Observatory

Scientists on the South Coast have received a large grant to build a new telescope.

The Las Cumbres Observatory also known as LCO – based in Goleta – has been given $1 million from the Heising-Simons Foundation to build a one-meter robotic telescope that will be located at the McDonald Observatory in Texas.

Photo by Ventura County Library/Pixabay

There’s a new way to get instant access to a library on the South Coast. 

The Ventura County Library has launched the MyVCLib mobile app. This free app delivers the library catalog along with account services such as the catalog search, holds and renewals. Plus, downloadable book and online resource apps are integrated for access to eBooks, eAudiobooks, language learning, movies and music.

Photo by Santa Barbara City Fire Department

Multiple people are being treated for their injuries after a truck plowed into a restaurant patio on the South Coast. 

Santa Barbara City Fire officials say around 12:30 Saturday afternoon, a man was driving a Toyota truck northbound on the 1300 block of State Street when he left the roadway, knocked over a street sign, drove onto the sidewalk and collided with the patio wall at Carlitos Café.

Photo by William Hoyer

Beginning in the early 1900s, scientists surveyed all the plants they could find on one of the Channel Islands, San Nicolas Island. More than 100 years later, researchers discovered many plants that had never been seen on the island before. 

Photo by Apeel Sciences

The South Coast is home to hundreds of technology businesses -- from startups to long-established companies. They’re clustered along Highway 101 in what’s called the “101 Tech Corridor.”

Apeel Sciences is an agricultural tech company in Goleta. Its scientists use a coating they create to spray on fruits and vegetables to extend the shelf-life of produce.

Photo by Santa Barbara Public Library System

Libraries on the South and Central Coasts are part of a national campaign this week to get people to vote.

Tuesday is National Voter Registration Day. Local libraries are encouraging community members to register to vote. Santa Barbara Librarian Jen Lemberger says the Central Library and all of the library system branches will be staffed with English and Spanish-speaking volunteers tomorrow to help people register.

Photo by U.S. Air Force

A military satellite has been successfully launched from the Central Coast last night after being scrubbed last week due to a problem with the rocket booster.

The United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket lifted off at 10:49 pm Saturday from Vandenberg Air Force Base. It was visible for much of the South and Central Coast.

Another mosquito on the South Coast has tested positive for West Nile Virus.

The Ventura County Environmental Health Division says it received confirmation from the California Department of Public Health that a mosquito sample collected the third week of September from the city of Simi Valley Wood Ranch Marsh tested positive for the virus. This is the second mosquito sample collected this year from Ventura County to test positive for West Nile. One bird also tested positive for the virus in the Simi Valley area this year. More positive test results are expected.

Photo by Emammal

The risk of tick-borne disease could increase in the future. South Coast researchers are finding that wildlife loss and climate change can cause the number of ticks to rise dramatically.

UC Santa Barbara biologists conducted a study in Kenya and found that the experiment plot where they excluded the largest animals also experienced the largest increase in the number of ticks. Hillary Young, an associate professor in UCSB’s Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology, says that was exacerbated in warmer and drier climates.

Photo by Jennifer Perry

Dozens of archaeological sites have recently been discovered on the Channel Islands by a group of South Coast researchers. 

Santa Barbara Island is only one-square mile. It’s the smallest of the Channel Islands and the most isolated. In the 1960s, 19 archaeological sites were discovered.

Jennifer Perry, a Cal State Channel Islands anthropologist and archaeologist, was part of a team that re-surveyed the island over the last few years to find more than 40 additional archaeological sites, tripling the number of known sites and changing the view of the island’s prehistory.

(Photo by Santa Maria Valley Humane Society)

More than a hundred homeless dogs and cats who were victims of Hurricane Harvey in Houston are now living on the South and Central Coasts.

Unemployment numbers for the South and Central Coast are mixed.

According to the California Employment Development Department, Ventura County’s jobless rate jumped from 5% in July to 5.3% in August. Unemployment also rose in San Luis Obispo County where it increased by 0.1% to 4.3% in August. The percentage of people out of work in Santa Barbara County actually dipped slightly from 4.7% in July to 4.6% last month.

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