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 about the job market for the South and Central Coasts. Unemployment is falling.

The California Employment Development Department is reporting that the jobless rate in Ventura County was 4.7% in February, down from 5.1% in January. For Santa Barbara County, the unemployment rate was 5.5% last month, dipping 0.5% percent from a month earlier. And, the percentage of people unemployed in San Luis Obispo County was 3.9% last month, decreasing from 4.3% in January. Employers on the South and Central Coasts have added more than 15,000 jobs in the past year.

When you think about first aid training, you probably think about CPR and using those skills to help someone suffering from a cardiac emergency. But that’s not the only first aid training that helps save lives. You can become certified in mental health first aid on the South Coast.

Leticia Yanez shook with anxiety as she pretended to have a panic attack. Her instructor and classmates tried to calm her down. Yanez said she actually felt anxiety even though she was just role-playing.

Middle school girls on the South Coast are using their STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) skills to create their own innovations.

Using scissors, glue and tape to attach things like astroturf, tin foil, play-doh and bubble wrap to their projects, more than 80 nine to 13-year-old girls from Ventura County schools are building prototypes of future cities at this STEM Innovation Challenge at Cal State Channel Islands in Camarillo.

Photo by Santa Barbara Unified School District

A teenager on the South Coast is running her own nonprofit organization that aims to empower young people.

Seventeen-year-old Gabriela Goldberg is a senior at San Marcos High School in Santa Barbara, and she’s also the Co-Founder and Co-President of Santa Barbara Speaks.

“We are dedicated to giving teenagers in Santa Barbara a place to have a voice. And, we do that through producing different community-wide events that are all entirely youth-run and youth-oriented,” she said.

Hundreds of teenagers and their hand-made robots from across California, the western U.S., Hawaii and as far as Chile converged on the South Coast, and some local teams were among the winners.  

It’s the FIRST Robotics Regional Competition, which was a three-day event that ended Saturday at Ventura College. Forty-two high schools with about 2,000 students took part.

A new library will soon be opening in an area of Ventura that lost its library several years ago, and an event happening on Saturday will help to partly pay for this new branch.

Ventura Friends of the Library is holding a book sale from 10 am to 3 pm in front of the Von’s on Telegraph Road and Victoria Avenue. The nonprofit’s president, Kathy Thomson, says while the money collected from the book sale will benefit the library system in general, they’ll also be collecting donations for the new Hill Road Library on the East Side.

Sometimes it’s hard to imagine that the fruits and vegetables you eat don’t start out at the supermarket. Instead, they begin with a seed. You could take an entire college course on how a seed turns into what ends up on your dinner plate. But, this course is being taught to an unusually young audience on the South Coast.

Preschoolers – ages three to five – are learning about gardening, sustainability, eating healthy and the environment.

About 50 veterans are participating in a four-day firefighting training workshop in the Santa Monica Mountains, so that they’ll be prepared to be on the front lines during the upcoming wildfire season. 

Water flows through a creek  at Paramount Ranch in Agoura Hills where Bureau of Land Management firefighting instructors are showing veterans how to use a portable pump. They pump water from the creek into a fire hose.

John Carter, a Navy veteran, is a seasonal firefighter who is hoping this course will hone his skills.

A teenager has been struck and killed by a train on the South Coast, and investigators are trying to figure what he was doing on the railroad tracks.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office said around 1:30 Saturday afternoon, a young man -- identified as 18-year-old Connor O’Keefe of Santa Barbara -- was walking northbound along the tracks near Fernald Point Lane in Montecito when he was hit by an Amtrak passenger train that was also headed northbound.

An arrest has been made in connection to a series of arson fires in Ventura.

Police said 37-year-old Elisabeth Hurtadovera started at least six fires on Saturday between midnight and 3:30 in the morning. Firefighters responded and knocked the fires down.

Authorities said the first fire was spotted in the area of Shenandoah Street and Portola Road at about 12:20 am. Then, just before 2 am, four additional fires were found burning between the 2400 and 2600 blocks of Main Street. At just before 3:30 in the morning, a witness reported that a woman set fire to a trash can and shopping cart near Ventura Avenue and Prospect Road.