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

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.

You may experience some wet weather on Sunday or Monday on the South and Central Coasts.

There’s a 30% chance of showers and thunderstorms for coastal and valley areas and a 60% chance for the mountains.

National Weather Service Senior Forecaster Andrew Rorke says the thunderstorms could bring strong downpours.

Two South Coast scientists have been awarded a large grant for research on proteins.

California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks analytical chemistry professor Katherine Hoffman and organic chemistry assistant professor Jason Kingsbury have received a $195,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to work with undergraduate students to research proteins that enable pathogenic bacteria to thrive.

Photo by NASA

If you were one of thousands of people across the South and Central Coasts who came out to view the eclipse earlier this week, then you may be wondering what to do with your eclipse glasses. So, before you trash them, you may want to consider donating them for a good cause.

Photo by UC Santa Barbara

New research by a South Coast economist is finding that it’s unlikely that global temperatures goals laid out in the Paris Climate Agreement will be achieved.

The goal in the agreement is to limit temperature rise by the year 2100 to two degrees Celsius, which amounts to 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit.

UC Santa Barbara economics professor Dick Startz and his colleagues created a high-tech statistical model that looked at every country.

Photo by Arne Danielson, NASA

One of the most spectacular scientific phenomena can be seen later this morning. It’s the long-awaited total solar eclipse.

The sun will be completely blocked by the moon for about two and a half minutes, and darkness will set in.

“This is the first time since 1776 that a total eclipse has happened within the United States and only the United States,” said astrophysicist Andy Howell with the Las Cumbres Observatory in Goleta.

Secret Life of Muslims Photo

A web series produced by a UC Santa Barbara scholar that attempts to fight Islamophobia in an often funny and sometimes serious tone has been nominated for Emmy and Peabody awards.

"The weirdest question  I've been asked about hijab, is probably if I shower in it.  The answer is 'no,'" said a woman in an episode of the "Secret Life of Muslims." The talk is about head scarves known as hijab. 

Unemployment is ticking up across the South and Central Coasts.

The California Employment Development Department is reporting that the jobless rate in Ventura County was 5% in July, up a half-percent from June. In Santa Barbara County, unemployment increased by 0.4% to 4.7% last month. And, in San Luis Obispo County, jobless numbers also rose. The unemployment rate was 4.2% in July compared to 3.7% a month earlier.

Photo by Athena Maguire

A Central Coast scientist has found that algae are resilient despite the effect of climate change on the ocean, which is good news for large sea snails known as abalone.

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo biologist Dr. Jennifer O’Leary took a closer look at ocean acidification, which is caused by climate change. This happens when carbon dioxide is absorbed by seawater and chemical reactions increase the acidity of the water. She says previous studies have shown that coralline algae – which are critical to abalone’s ability to reproduce -- are sensitive to ocean acidification.

A group of young people is doing a cleanup as part of a large environmental restoration project on the South Coast.

About two dozen teenagers at the Santa Clara River in Santa Paula picked up trash -- paper, plastic bags, cans, cigarette butts…even a shopping cart.

Authorities have arrested a man for a crime that caused a scare for residents of a South Coast community.

Simi Valley Police say on Friday they arrested 23-year-old Darnell McDuffie, a transient from Oxnard, on burglary and assault charges. It stems from an incident that happened on July 22nd. Police say around 5:30 that morning, they received a call from a resident who interrupted a burglary in her condo on the 1700 block of Sinaloa Road. Detectives say the suspect battered the woman and tried to restrain her using duct tape.

Photo by UC Santa Barbara

A South Coast university student is using artificial intelligence to develop an app to help people determine whether they have a deadly skin cancer.

Currently, the only way to find out if you have melanoma is to get a biopsy. But, UC Santa Barbara undergrad Abhishek Bhattacharya is hoping to change that. He has been working with a UC San Francisco physician using computer science to create a neural network model that uses images gathered from the web.

Low-income children who are deaf or hard of hearing are getting help this summer on the South Coast.

Eleven-year-old Natalie Juarez, who has extreme hearing loss, wears implants that allow her to hear.

“Without my implants, I feel deaf. Like you can’t hear nothing,” she said.

But even with the implants, she still needs speech and language therapy, which is hard to come by in the summer when school is out. That’s why she and other kids who are deaf or hard of hearing are in a free eight-week program held at the nonprofit, No Limits, in Oxnard.

Photo by Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

A new study by a Central Coast university finds that mothers can get distracted while feeding their babies.

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Kinesiology assistant professor Alison Ventura asked 75 mothers who breast or bottle feed their infants to keep a diary of feeding patterns. She found that nearly half the time, the moms were distracted. And a quarter of the time, they were distracted by electronic devices like their cell phone, tablet or television.